The end of the holy month of Ramadan will be marked by Eid-al-Fitr this month.
With dates changing each year, when is Eid set to fall in 2020, and how will Muslims celebrate during lockdown?
Here’s what you should know.
When will Ramadan end?
Ramadan began on the evening of Thursday 23 April and will end a month later on the evening of Saturday 23 May.
The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, and the dates of Ramadan therefore change each year, subject to the sighting of the moon.
This year, Eid-al-Fitr will fall between the evening of Saturday 23 May and the evening of Sunday 24 May, but like the start of Ramadan, this is subject to the official sighting of the moon.
What is the moon sighting?
The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, which means the dates of Ramadan and Eid change each year.
Muslim Aid explains, “The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, and as a result of this, the Holy month of Ramadan rotates by approximately ten days each year.
“This year’s Ramadan start date is expected to fall on Thursday 23 April 2020, subject to the sighting of the moon, and is expected to conclude on Saturday 23rd May 2020.”
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr takes place as the month of Ramadan draws to a close.
Muslim Aid says, “A direct translation of Eid-ul-Fitr is ‘the festival of breaking the fast’ and commemorates the end of a month-long fast throughout Ramadan for Muslims in the UK and around the world.”
The charity explains that the festival is an important time in Islam as it “allows families, loved ones and communities to come together and celebrate following a month of abstinence and dedication to Allah.”
How can I prepare for Eid?
Muslim Aid explains that Eid charity donations are commonly made at this time of year, either as Zakat donations or Zakat-ul-Fitr.
For more information, visit the Muslim Aid website.
How can Muslims celebrate Eid during lockdown and are mosques going to open?
As part of Eid, Muslim Aid explains that Dawn Prayers, also known as Fajr, are performed with your family before the ‘ghusl’ cleansing, which purifies the whole body.
After the cleansing or ablution, the family then usually prepare for the day by getting dressed up and heading over to the local mosque to wish friends, family and the local community “Eid Mubarak” and then begin Eid prayers.
However, this year, with the UK still under lockdown and mosques still temporarily closed, Eid celebrations will be slightly different.
Prayers and celebrations will have to take place within household units with members that are currently residing together.