According to the Islamic calendar, fasting is observed in the ninth month of the year and Eid is celebrated on the first date of 10th Shawwal. On this day the fasts of all the fasting people are completed. However, the date of celebrating Eid is finalized according to the sighting of the moon. The day when the moon is visible, that day is called Chand Mubarak. The date of Eid is first announced in Saudi Arabia.
On this auspicious day, Muslims around the world pray and kinships are strengthened, and give alms to the poor.
Eid ul Fitr 2023 in India is expected to be celebrated on Friday, April 21, or Saturday, April 22, 2023, subject to the sighting of the moon. If the crescent moon is not seen, Ramadan will be extended for another day. However, please note that the exact date of Eid ul Fitr may vary based on the sighting of the moon, and it is always best to confirm with local authorities or your local mosque.
Meanwhile, The Ruet-i-Hilal Research Council (RHRC) has stated that Eid-ul-Fitr would be celebrated on Saturday, 22 April across Pakistan.
The council’s Secretary-General, Khalid Ijaz Mufti, has announced that the committee’s meeting is scheduled to sight the Shawwal moon on Thursday, 20 April. However, the odds of being able to see the moon that evening are slim.
If the moon is sighted on Thursday, Eid-ul-Fitr will be observed on Friday, 21 April. Yet, according to Mufti, Eid is more likely to be celebrated on 22 April after fasting for 30 days during the holy month of Ramadan.
The moon will be born on Thursday, 20 April, at 9:13 a.m. Pakistan time, as per the council. The Mufti also stated that any reports of a crescent moon sighting on 20 April would be incorrect.
In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the crescent Moon will have a illumination of only 0.2% just after sunset on Thursday, April 20th, making it highly unlikely to be visible for a few minutes following sunset. However, around 10 hours later, from the west coast of the U.S., it will be 1% illuminated and positioned slightly higher in the sky after sunset, increasing the likelihood of it being observed.
The following day, April 21, 2023, the crescent Moon will have an illumination of 2.4% in Mecca, and will generally be much brighter and positioned higher in the sky after sunset, making it significantly more visible around the world. As a result, Eid Al-Fitr is expected to commence on Friday, April 21, 2023.
Traditions of Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Fitr is often called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” The practice of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the holy month of Ramadan (“Sawm”) is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims believe that it was during the month of Ramadan that the text of the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with prayers called “Salat Al Eid” in Arabic. There is no audible call to prayer for the Eid prayers. Muslims will gather in mosques or open spaces and offer two units of prayer – called “Rakat”. The prayers are followed by a sermon, in which the imam asks for forgiveness, mercy, and peace for every being across the world.
It’s a tradition to wear new clothes and on the way to the mosque, eat something sweet such as a date, and recite a small prayer called a takbeer.
Other key elements of the Eid celebrations are giving money to the poor (known as ‘Zakat al-Fitr’, the amount to be given depends on the possessions someone has), sending Eid greetings and feasting with families.
For many Muslims, Eid al-Fitr is a festival to show gratitude to Allah for the help and strength he gave them throughout the month of Ramadan to help them practice self-control.
The phrase commonly used by Muslims as a greeting on this day is “Eid Mubarak”, which is Arabic for ‘blessed festival’. The proper response to Eid Mubarak is “Khair Mubarak”, which wishes goodness on the person who has greeted you.