Eid al-Fitr, also commonly known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
This year, Eid-al-Fitr in South Africa will take place on Friday, 14 May 2021.
The religious holiday marks the end of the month-long, dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan for 29 or 30 days.
Due to NO confirmed #hilaal sighting reports in the evening of Wed, 12 May 2021, @uucsa has determined that Blessed Ramadan in South Africa ends with 30 days, on Thu13 May 2020. Eid-ul-Fitr will therefore be on Fri 14 May 2021, in-sha-Allah. #EidMubarak pic.twitter.com/OaVq3iUQPt
— Jamiatul Ulama SA (@Jamiatsa) May 12, 2021
The holiday consists of many joyous festivities such as Eid prayers, charity, social gatherings with family and loved ones, festive meals and gift giving.
In order for the exact date of Eid to be determined, the new moon needs to be sighted on the 28th night of Ramadan.
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In South Africa, the moon is sighted in Cape Town by the “maan kykers”, literally translated into “moon watchers”. The spotting of the moon for Ramadan was done in Anchor Bay in April by the Crescent Observer’s Society.
Eid celebrations will, however, be muted this year because of Covid-19. Many Muslims congregate for early morning Eid prayers in mosques and open-air fields to mark the day but will need to observe protocol and social distancing this year with many choosing to perform prayers in smaller groups or at home.
Much like other religious celebrations, it is customary to send your friends and loved ones celebrating Eid messages and well wishes during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Well wishes and greetings you can extend to your loved ones during the occasion:
“May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith and joy on Eid al-Fitr and forever. Happy Eid al-Adha!”
“May Allah’s blessings be with you today and always. Eid al-Fitr Mubarak!”
“Sending you warm wishes on Eid and wishing that it brings your way ever joys and happiness. Remember me in your prayers.”
“May the peace and blessings from Allah be upon you always. Eid al-Fitr Mubarak.”
“With all the love, blessings and peace on this joyous day. Happy Eid al-Fitr.”
If you have been invited by your loved one to celebrate Eid with them and their family, here is what you should keep in mind:
- You can take a gift basket along, but do not add pork, any gelatin product or alcohol in the gift basket.
- If there is anything you do not understand during the celebration, or are not sure what is expected of you, ask your friend.
- Most times cultural limitations and affections run deep. The women may be separate from the men at the festivities. If you are introduced to someone of the opposite sex, do not hug or shake hands unless your host has said otherwise, or they do it first.
- Should Eid fall on a Friday, Jummuah prayers, or Friday prayers will take place usually before Eid lunch is served.