• Like the beginning of Ramadan, Eid begins with the first sighting of the new moon.

A Muslim faithfuls hand decorated in hena during the marking of Eid Ul Fitr on May 2, 2022.
EID CELEBRATIONS: A Muslim faithfuls hand decorated in hena during the marking of Eid Ul Fitr on May 2, 2022.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Kenyan Muslims thronged various mosques in large numbers for Eid prayers to mar the festivities of  Eid Ul Fitr, today.

Eid al-Fitr - the festival of the breaking of the fast - is one of the biggest celebrations in the Muslim calendar. It takes place at the end of Ramadan - a month of prayer and fasting.

The name "Eid al-Fitr" translates as "the festival of the breaking of the fast".

Like the beginning of Ramadan, Eid begins with the first sighting of the new moon.

Despite the gazette notice by Fred Matiang'i declaring May 3, 2022, a public holiday in the exercise of the powers conferred by section 2 (1) of the Public Holidays Act, the holiday actually falls on May 2, 2022.

This has left netizens asking if Tuesday is still a holiday.

Anyhow, the Islamic calendar follows the 12-month lunar calendar.

The month of Ramadan is the ninth of the year, and Eid is celebrated at the beginning of the 10th month, Shawwal.

Each month begins with the sighting of the new crescent moon and lasts either 29 or 30 days.

In the past, this was done by the naked eye, but in recent years, telescopes and technology have been used.

The lunar calendar is about 10 days shorter than the Western calendar, which is based on the cycle of the sun. This means that each year Ramadan starts about 10 days earlier than the previous year and over time gets earlier and earlier in the year.

Here are some facts about Eid"

  1. It's a tradition to wear new clothes and on the way to the mosque, to eat something sweet, such as a date, and recite a short prayer, called a takbeer.
  2. Before Eid prayers, every Muslim is obliged to make a donation to charity called Zakat al-Fitr to help feed the poor.
  3. In many countries, Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday - many people enjoy large meals with friends and family.
  4. It's also common for elder believers to give money to children and younger members of the family.
  5. If you want to wish someone well at Eid, the greeting is "Eid Mubarak".
  6. Mosques - like other places of worship - are no longer required to enforce social distancing, although some people may prefer to maintain it.

 

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