When Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) entered Madinah, after migration from Mecca, he found the people of Madinah having two days of big celebrations—the Day of Nairooz نَيْرُوز and the Day of Mahrajan مَهْرَجَان. The Nairooz is the first day of the solar calendar, while the Mahrajan is another day of the year during which day and night are the same in length. Like the day of Nairooz, it is a day of pleasant weather. For this reason, ancient Arabs chose them as days of joy and festivity. Addressing the people of Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “you had two days of celebrations, and Allah has given two better days instead, the day of sacrifice and the day of break the fast, that is Eid al-Adha عِيْدُ الأَضْحَى and Eid al-Fitr عِيْدُ الفِطْر.
Eid al-Fitr عِيد الفِطر is a religious festivity during which Muslims around the world celebrate the end of holy month of Ramadan. The very name of the occasion عِيد الفِطر means the festivity of breaking the fast. This day coincides with the first day of the month of Shawwal شَوَّال, the tenth month of the Hijri / Islamic calendar.
On this day, going to mosques for Eid Prayer صَلاة العَيد is the first activity Muslims do. Alfresco Eid prayers is always preferred. Donning their best clothes, people visit their relatives and give them different types of gifts and sweets. They have lunch in each other’s houses and spend the rest of the day talking, gaming, and socializing.
The type of activities varies from one Arab country to another. Ceremonies, frequent social visits, fun activities, and decent delicious food are enjoyed from three days to one week. In many Arab countries, three to five days are announced as a public holiday so that people have ample time to entertain and celebrate this occasion enjoyably. Eid al-Fitr عِيد الفِطر is also called Small Eid العِيد الصَّغِير. Among the popular linguistic expressions used for congratulation in this occasion are:
عِيد مُبَارك Happy Eid!
فِطر مُبَارك Happy Eid!
عِيد سَعِيد Happy Eid!
كُل عَام وأنتُم بِخير Best Wishes!
عِيْدَكُم مُبَارَك May you have happy Eid!
عَسَاكُم مِن عُوَّادُه May you witness the next Eid!