/Eid al-Fitr (1st to 3rd day of Shawwal)

Eid al-Fitr (1st to 3rd day of Shawwal)

Eid al Fitr translates as the Feast of Breaking the Fast. On the first day of Eid al Fitr, fasting is forbidden and it is the most important of the days of Eid. It is a day for Muslims to celebrate their successful fasting. It is a day of gratitude to God for having been allowed to fulfil one of the obligations of Islam, one of the Five Pillars. In the morning, after sunrise, Muslims all pray the Eid prayer together. The short prayer is followed by a sermon. Before the prayer, alms (zakat al-fitr) are given, so that those who are poor can also celebrate. The alms correspond to the amount of money spent on food for one day.
During the festivities people visit each other and get in touch with their relatives. As is natural at a party, people – children in particular – dress up in their finest clothes. Parents usually give their children money or some other gift. In Finland, gifts are also exchanged between friends and children, who look forward to the gifts just as people do at Christmas. However, in Islam there is no religious significance to the giving of gifts just on this day. (According to tradition giving presents is said to increase love, so it is done year round).
In the Islamic world, all three days of Eid are holidays. At Eid, Muslims wish each other Eid mubarak, which means blessed or good feast.