At the end of Ramadan (Ramzan), the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims worldwide gear up to welcome Eid ul Fitr, a joyous and triumphant day where the faithful lay claim on the ultimate prize; their return to a state of purity. On this day, prayers are offered, kinships are strengthened, and alms for the poor are given.
Having fulfilled one of the five pillars of Islam, mouth-watering feasts are held and shared with family, friends, neighbors, and just about anyone in need of sustenance; it is believed that absolutely no soul shall go unfed on the day of Eid.
As we prepare to welcome the festivities, here are the dates, calendar and guide to celebrating Eid ul Fitr 2021 in India.
Eid ul Fitr dates and calendar 2021
Determining the date of the Eid ul Fitr depends on the sighting of the crescent moon (a day after the new moon). As such, the process of determining the date of the Eid ul Fitr can only be performed under the cover of night. Should the crescent moon not be spotted, Ramadan continues for another day.
This year, Eid ul Fitr in India is expected to be upon us on 13 May 2021.
Eid ul Fitr in India
The Eid ul Fitr celebrations in India do share some similarities with those of the rest of the world, albeit with some minor differences. While the religious rituals remain the same, the food and treats are uniquely Indian. The following is how Eid ul Fitr is typically celebrated by Indian Muslims.
On the night just before Eid ul Fitr, Muslims celebrate what’s known as the Night of the Moon or Chaand Raat. Traditionally, it is a night when Muslim families visit the markets, shopping malls and bazaars for all their Eid ul Fitr needs. New clothes, traditional snacks and other festive-related items are acquired on the night.
As mandated by their faith, the Zakat al Fitr (obligatory donation) must be completed prior to the morning Eid prayer. Those with the financial means of doing so must donate either money or items such as rice, barley, dates and other similar provisions. This mandatory donation must be distributed to the poor prior to the celebrations to ensure that all souls are able to enjoy a joyous holiday.
Next comes the morning Eid prayer. Muslims congregate either in large mosques or any outdoor locations deemed fit to serve as praying venues. The Eid prayer focuses on gratitude to the almighty for having granted the will and resolve to the believers to successfully complete the arduous Ramadan fast.
Following the Eid prayer, families greet their neighbors and friends to give or exchange gifts and congratulate one another on completing Ramadan. Indians typically visit the graves of families and loved ones and offer their prayers for their well-being in the hereafter.
Scores of traditional foods and snacks are being served on decorated tables. Such delicacies usually include the following:
- Sheer khurma, a sumptuous Eid staple in the form of a sweet milk pudding with vermicelli topped with chunky nuts and raisins.
- Biryani, fragrant rice dish layered with succulent pieces of your meat of choice.
- Sheermal, a sweet and chewy flatbread made with ghee, sugar and saffron-enhanced milk.