There are two basic religious festivals celebrated by Muslims every year. One of them is Eid-ul-fitr and the other is Eid-ul-adha.
After fasting in the month of Ramadan Eid ul fitr is celebrated on 1st of Shawal which is the 11th month of Hijri (lunar) calendar. After 29 or 30 days of fasting it’s a pleasure to enjoy and arrange parties. Celebrations usually begin at night before Eid which is commonly called chand raat (the night of moon) in South Asia. For women applying mehndi on hands, arms and feet is important part of the celebrations. Families usually go out and enjoy the night. Teenage girls buy mehndi, bangles and other jewelry and others enjoy the cheerful atmosphere. The next day Muslims wake up a little earlier. Since Eid is a religious festival so the celebrations begins with prayers which are usually held either in mosques or in open fields. After prayers Muslims greet each other and the celebrations begin.
Eid is celebrated in different ways and styles depending on the family and the region. In different areas it is celebrated according to their culture and tradition. Usually all religious festivals including both Eids are celebrated with the enthusiasm to help each other. That’s why some amount of money (called fitrana) is distributed among poor so maybe in this way we can help to bring some pleasure for them. Some people also distribute Zakat (a Muslim tax which is specific for the poor) on Eid.
Eid is about three day long holiday for Muslims. In these days they relax and enjoy with their family and friends. Eid’s might be a holiday for most of us but not for celebrities. Eid just doubles their work. Special programs and concerts are arranged everywhere which creates an atmosphere of pleasure, happiness and peace.
Eid is not celebrated on a fixed date of solar calendar like Christmas and Halloween. It is because Eid is celebrated according to lunar calendar. New lunar month begins with the sighting of moon and each month is about 29 or 30 days long. Lesser days in each in month makes lunar year shorter than the solar year. That’s why every year there is a difference of about 10 to 12 days. For example if Eid was on October 14 then it will be around 2nd to 4th October next year. This circulation around the year makes this event to revolve around all the seasons making it more special.