Eid-ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr, often abbreviated simply as 'Eid', is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the Islamic calendar and it occurs after the sighting of the new crescent moon which signals the end of the month of Ramadan. Eid is an Arabic term meaning "festivity" or "celebration" while Fitr means "to break the fast".
Eid is celebrated over a three day period in Islamic countries. It is a joyous occasion for all Muslims, particularly children. It is a time when Muslims give thanks for the blessings they have received from Allah, celebrate the victory of the forces of good over evil, and forgive their neighbours for old grudges and ill feelings. It is also a time for spreading peace, sharing with others and giving thanks for completing another period of fasting for the month of Ramadan.
Eid celebrations are marked by fervent preparations within Muslim communities. Families decorate their homes, Eid cards and gifts are bought to distribute to friends and family, sweets and other delicacies are prepared, and new clothing is bought or made to celebrate the occasion. Before the social celebrations begin however, the day begins with prayer.
The morning of the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr begins with an early meal, followed by a special charity in the form of money, food, or produce which is given to the needy or to Islamic organizations. Thousands of Muslims around the world then gather at their mosques (usually the largest mosques) or large open meeting sites, and turn towards the holy city of Makkah (Mecca) to share in prayers of thanksgiving for completing their fast during the month of Ramadan. At the end of the morning prayers, families and friends engage in a special Salaat, whereby they visit each other and exchange gifts and greetings.
CELEBRATION OF EID-UL-FITR IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
As in other parts of the world, Eid ul-fitr in Trindad and Tobago is marked with great sadness and jubilation. Sadness that the blessed month of Ramadan has ended, and great happiness that the fast has been completed and Inshallah (God willing) the fast would have been accepted.
Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting, but also thank God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control. The Eid prayer is recited in congregation in mosques or in an outdoor area (a ground or park) to accommodate the large numbers who attend this prayer. New clothes are bought to be worn to mosque for Eid prayer and Mehindi or henna is applied to the hands of the sisters.