Millions of Muslims all across the UK will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr today (May 2) to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. To start off the celebrations, special prayers have been taking place across many areas in the UK including outside spaces and mosques. Eid is one of two major holidays celebrated by Muslims all over the globe, because of this it holds a lot of importance for observers.
Traditionally, Eid prayers begin at sunset on the night the crescent moon is first sighted but many mosques will offer to do Eid prayers the following morning. Once prayers are finished, Muslims will visit their relatives and friends to wish them a happy Eid and often exchange gifts or sweets.
Ramadan has been taking place for the last four weeks, during which Muslims have fasted between dawn and sunset. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer and doing good, as well as spending time with family and friends.
Eid al-Fitr will mark the completion of the Ramadan fast and beginning the celebration during which worshippers will gather to commemorate the end of the fast. The moon’s first appearance can be spotted at different times depending on where you are in the world.
Today is also a very special day because it is the first Eid in two years where celebrations will take place without any Covid restrictions. In previous years, extra precautions had to be taken during prayers and other activities to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
But now, Muslims will be able to visit their friends, family and other separate households to wish each other an Eid Mubarak.