Millions of Muslims across the UK will celebrate Eid al-Fitr today (May 2) to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. To start the celebrations, special prayers were held in many parts of the UK, including outdoor spaces and mosques. Eid is one of the two major holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world, which is why it holds great significance for observers.
Traditionally, Eid prayers begin at sunset the night the crescent moon is first sighted, but many mosques offer to perform Eid prayers the next morning. After the prayers are over, Muslims visit relatives and friends to wish them a happy Eid and often exchange gifts or sweets.
Ramadan takes place for four weeks, during which Muslims fast between dawn and sunset. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer and doing good, as well as spending time with family and friends.
Eid al-Fitr will mark the end of the Ramadan fast and the start of the celebration in which the faithful will gather to commemorate the end of the fast. The moon’s first appearance can be spotted at different times depending on where you are in the world.
Today is also a very special day as it is the first Eid in two years where celebrations will take place without any Covid restrictions. In previous years, extra precautions had to be taken during prayers and other activities to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
But now Muslims will be able to visit friends, family and other estranged households to wish each other Eid Mubarak.