Muslims are now almost at the end of their month-long fasting period known as Ramadan, which began on 16 May 2018. The period of fasting and introspection leads up to the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the day after Ramadan ends. Ramadan always lasts between 29 and 30 days. But the date of Ramadan changes year by year because its timing is based on the lunar calendar, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar we base our year on. In 2018, Ramadan will last from Wednesday 16 May until Thursday 14 June. People are already gearing up to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with great zeal and happiness. This year, Eid ul-Fitr in India is expected to begin on the evening of June 14, Thursday and end on the evening of June 15, Friday.
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The exact date of Eid depends on a combination of the sighting of the new moon and astronomical calculations. The time when Eid starts also depends on where you are in the world, and when the new moon is seen.
Eid festivities begin after the sighting of the crescent moon. People wake up early in the morning and offer their daily prayers known as the Salat ul-Fajr. Then they take a bath and wear Ittar (perfume), have their breakfast before heading off to perform special congregational prayers known as Salat al-Eid (Eid prayers). Many Muslims recite the takbir (declaration of faith) on the way to the prayer ground and take part in Zakat al-Fitr or charitable contributions.
The traditional greeting of ‘Eid Mubarak’ is used by Muslims during the holy festival around the world and you will undoubtedly see it being sent around social media.