As people observe roza (fast) during the holy month of Ramadan, people are already gearing up to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with great fervour and gaiety. Eid marks the end of Ramadan, a religious tradition where Muslims abstain from food and water between dawn to dusk during the period, follows the Islamic lunar calendar where the followers of the faith offer Eid prayers in Eidgahs and mosques on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This year, Eid Al Fitr in India is expected to be on the evening of June 25 and end on the evening of June 26.
Eid festivities begin only after the sighting of the crescent moon. In accordance with the Sunnah, people wake up early in the morning and pray the Salat ul-Fajr (daily prayers), take a bath and wear Ittar (perfume), eat a hearty breakfast before heading off to perform special congregational prayers known as Salat al-Eid (Eid prayers). Many Muslims also recite the takbir (declaration of faith) on the way to the prayer ground and take part in Zakat al-Fitr (charitable contributions).
Every year the dates of Ramadan and Eid change. This is because the Muslim calendar, which began when Prophet Mohammad migrated from Mecca to Medina (also known as Hijr) in 622 AD, is based on the phases of the moon. It is shorter by 11 or 12 days from that of the Georgian calendar, which by default leads to 354-355 days in Islamic calendar.
According to a Hadith attributed to Anas ibn Malik, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, the first Eid was celebrated in 624 AD after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.