Ramadan is a very serious holiday for Muslim Ummah, taking place during the ninth month of the Islamic holidays. Celebrants fast during the day and pray frequently, meditating upon the nature of faith and Allah. It is traditional to make gifts of alms and food to the poor during Ramadan, and to abstain from sins. The holiday can be very challenging, as it requires self-sacrifice and personal discipline. Ramadan officially ends when the crescent moon of the 10th month in the Islamic calender is sighted, marking the start of Eid ul-Fitr.
In Arabic, Eid means “festival,” and Fitr means “breaking the fast,” so Eid ul-Fitr is literally a festival for breaking the fast. After the intense religious introspection and fasting of Ramadan, Muslim Ummah take Eid as an opportunity to have fun, celebrate their faith, and enjoy the company of friends and family. The festival may also get quite chaotic, with fireworks, and distributions of presents to friends and neighbors.
For Eid ul-Fitr, families cleanse themselves in the morning, eat a small meal, and then attend prayer at a mosque. By tradition, celebrants offer alms to the mosque for distribution to the poor before the start of Eid prayers; these alms are known as Zakat ul-Fitr. After prayer and a sermon, the festivities of Eid ul-Fitr begin, with celebrants typically visiting each other in their finest clothes to exchange gifts and commemorate friendship. Eid is also a traditional time for forgiveness and reconciliations.
Since Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, feasting is an important part of this Muslim holiday. There are no universally traditional Eid foods, but the holiday typically includes rich foods which may not have been eaten during Ramadan, along with elaborate regional or family recipes. Invitations to parties and dinners are common during Eid ul-Fitr, and people often take the day off from work to spend time celebrating.