Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr is one of two major holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world. It can be translated as "the feast of fast-breaking" as it commemorates the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims who are able to do so will fast from before dawn until after sunset each day. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by holding a community-wide prayer service in an open field or large hall which often attracts a large number of attendees, even those who do not typically attend communal prayer services throughout the year. Wearing one's best clothes to the prayer takes on various cultural forms, and religiously there is a special mandatory charity called Zakat al-Fitr that helps ensure that all can afford to participate in the festivities. The prayer consists of two cycles of standing and reciting the Qur'an, bowing and prostrating in glorification of Allah, followed by a sermon and supplications, all led by an Imam. After prayers, and throughout the day, it is common to visit family and friends and exchange gifts. The names for the holiday differ from culture to culture and country to country, though the Arabic "Eid al-Fitr" has become the standard in North America.