One of the two major holidays in the Islamic calendar, Eid-ul-Fitr takes place at the end of Ramadan and marks the end of a month of strict fasting and prayer. First celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad along with his family and friends, Eid celebrations today begin with the first sighting of the new moon in Islamic countries.
During Eid, Muslims give prayer and thanks to Allah for the help and strength he gave them to exercise self-control during Ramadan. Special Eid services are held in mosques and in public places outdoors, and processions take place in the streets of many towns and cities.
Central to the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations is the lavish feast, with families getting together to enjoy their first proper meal together for a month. Many Muslims also attend communal prayers, listen to khutba (a sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food). Gift-giving is also traditional at Eid, as are new clothes and festive decorations for the home.
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