What Is Ramadan: The Ultimate Guide To Celebrating Eid al-Fitr

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Wondering about Ramadan and how to celebrate its Eid al Fitr? You are in the right place. Learn what is Ramadan and how to celebrate this month-long period of spiritual reflection, charity, and community.

View of the mosque
Mosque. Image source: Sam Rana, Pexels

What Is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the month where the Quran was believed to be revealed to Prophet Muhammad.   

It is a month of self-reflection, prayers, and fasting. Muslims worldwide observe it by refraining from drinks, food, and extra physical activities during the daylight hours. 

After sunset, the fast is broken with a meal called “iftar.”

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The Importance of Ramadan

It is time to withhold all material worlds, focusing on the relationship with Allah. 

During the daily prayers and fasting, Muslims strive to improve morally and spiritually while seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. 

Five Pillars of Islam

Ramadan is one of the essential five pillars of Islam and fundamental principles of the Islamic faith. 

  1. Shahada: The declaration of faith in God (Allah) and his messenger.
  2. Salat: Five daily prayers that Muslims must perform.
  3. Zakat: Giving of alms or charity to those in need.
  4. Hajj: Pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, which Muslims perform at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able.

Fasting During Ramadan

“During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. The month culminates in Eid al-Fitr, where families come together to celebrate with a joyous iftar feast. During the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, Muslim families come together to break their fasts with a joyous feast known as iftar. This festive occasion allows them to reflect on their blessings and strengthen their bonds of love and unity.” Bity Lou, Eighty Recipes

Apart from restricting food and drink, they also concentrate on withholding from gossiping, negative actions, thoughts, or lying. It is time that they work toward being better people and improving their characters. 


Giving and charity are essential parts of the whole month of Ramadan. Muslims are inspired to give gifts to people in need. 

They donate to various charities,  contributing financially to the less fortunate or sharing their meals with the poor. 

Table for Iftar dinner with fruits and decoration.
Iftar table. Image source: Rodnae Production, Pexels

Eid Al-Fitr

Eid Al-Fitr is the final celebration performed at the end of Ramadan. It is when all Muslims worldwide meet up with their families and friends, exchange gifts and share their food. It is the time of the year when they seek forgiveness and reconciliation with those with whom they had issues during the year.

Meaning of Eid Al-Fitr

“Festival of Breaking the Fast” is the English meaning of “Eid Al-Fitr.”

Eid Al-Fitr is three days of festivity to mark the end of the month of Ramadan. It is also the beginning of the tenth month in the Islamic calendar, called Shawwal. 

Traditions During Eid Al-Fitr

Depending on the specific family traditions and some cultural customs, Muslims celebrate this festival in various ways. 

Some of the usual traditions and customs are:

  • New clothes: It is customary for Muslims to wear new clothes on the day of Eid Al-Fitr to symbolize new beginnings and start fresh after Ramadan.
  • Special prayers: Muslims attend special Eid prayers in large open spaces or mosques. 
  • Greeting each other: Muslims exchange greetings and well wishes, saying “Eid Mubarak,” which can be translated as happy or blessed Eid, a festival. It is also traditional to hug or shake hands with friends and family members and visit relatives.
  • Giving to charity: It is customary for Muslims to give charity to the poor and needy during Eid Al-Fitr.
  • Many donate to charity or give gifts to friends and family members. In many countries, it is also traditional to give money or gifts to children to celebrate the holiday.
  • Preparing exceptional food: They prepare special food and sweets to share with family and friends during Eid Al-Fitr. In Egypt, for example, it is traditional to eat a sweet, buttery pastry called “kahk.” In Indonesia, people often eat “ketupat,” a rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves.
  • Decorating: Some people decorate their homes with lights, banners, and other decorations to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr. In some countries, it is also traditional to light lanterns or candles.
  • Community gatherings: Eid Al-Fitr is a time for Muslims to unite and celebrate as a community. Many mosques hold special prayers and celebrations; in some countries, there are large festivals with food, music, and other entertainment.
  • Forgiveness: Eid Al-Fitr is a time to forgive, forget past grievances, and reconcile with others. Muslims are encouraged to make amends with anyone who they have   conflict with during the year.
  • Eid Al-Fitr cards: Greeting cards are exchanged by some Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr as a way of sending good wishes and blessings to loved ones who live far away.
  • Graves: Some visit the graves of their loved ones to pay their respects and offer prayers.
  • Activities for children: Many families with young children plan special activities and games for the kids, such as scavenger hunts, storytelling, and crafts.
Latern with lid candle inside.
Lantern. Image source: Ahmed Aqtai, Pexels

Eid Al-Fitr Around the World

Every country around the world celebrates Eid Al-Fitr a bit differently. Here are some of the unique ways in which Eid Al-Fitr is honored in different parts of the world:

  • Indonesia: In Indonesia, “Lebaran” is a time for home decorating with colorful lights, family gatherings, new clothes, and unique dishes.
  • India and Pakistan: In Pakistan, people decorate their homes and the streets with lights and colorful decorations.
  • Turkey: In Turkey, Eid Al-fitr is called “Bayram.” It is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and gift giving.
  • Middle East: In the Middle East, they celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with family gatherings, gift-giving, and charity. Big tents around the cities are built for a big dinner celebration for all residents with refreshing dishes such as tabbouleh, farmers cheese, lots of veggies and curry.
  • Egypt: In Egypt, a special meal called “fata” that includes bread, rice, and meat is served during this holiday. Families also gather to light lanterns and play traditional games.
  • China: In China, Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated by the country’s Hui Muslim minority. The holiday is known as “Corban Festival,” and families gather to eat traditional foods such as lamb and noodle soup.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: In Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Ramazanski bajram,” is celebrated with large family gatherings and the exchange of gifts. Bosnians also prepare traditional dishes such as “klepe,” dumplings filled with meat.
  • Mauritius: In Mauritius, Muslims on the island gather at local mosques and then visit friends and family to exchange gifts and eat traditional foods such as biryani and samosas.
  • Morocco: Called “Eid al-Seghir,” the holiday celebrates large family gatherings and the exchange of gifts. Moroccans prepare traditional dishes such as “rfissa,” a spicy chicken and lentil dish with bread.
  • Ghana: In Ghana, the holiday is known as “Sallah.” Families gather to pray and feast on traditional foods such as “waakye,” a rice and bean dish. Many Ghanaians also wear new clothes and exchange gifts on the holiday.

For Muslims worldwide, Ramadan is a period of spiritual thoughts, community, and generosity. It serves as an opportunity to detach from worldly possessions and strengthen one’s connection with Allah. Fasting, prayer, and self-evaluation are fundamental elements of this holy month, while charitable acts and providing for the less fortunate are equally important.

Zuzana is the creative force behind her websites Lowcarb-nocarb and Best Clean Eating. As a content creator, food recipe developer, blogger, and photographer, Zuzana brings diverse skills to the table with a dedication to sharing delicious, healthy recipes and helpful tips with the readers. Get her Best Keto Recipes Book for free. 

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