What is Eid?


Awaiting the new moon, Muslims all over the globe wait for the cue to break their fast. Once the moon is seen, the Islamic holiday, Eid-al-Fitr, begins. Eid marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Translating as the “festival of breaking the fast,” Eid is the first day Muslims can eat during daylight hours after a month.

It is initiated with a communal prayer, called a salah, at daybreak. It is followed with feasts, new clothing, gatherings with family and friends, and visits to relatives’ graves. During the celebrations, Muslims show gratitude for what they have and help the less fortunate.

Following a lunar calendar, the holiday occurs on the first day of Shawwāl, the tenth month of the year. This year, it was recently celebrated on April 21. The festival must only begin when the new moon is seen, affecting the time of Eid around the world.

In US schools, students have been absent on this holiday, having to choose between their religion and education. As awareness of the Muslim community grows, some schools have recognized Eid as an official holiday on their calendar, and students don’t have to be burdened from missing classes.
Locally, Iman Azeez, a high school student in the Council Rock School District, led the effort to make Eid a holiday for Council Rock students. Eid will be marked as a day off starting in the 2023-24 school year.

Progress is slowly, but surely, being made as Eid gains more recognition and value. Hopefully, in the future, holidays of minority religions will be seen as equivalent to the others.