For those that don't celebrate it, Ramadan must seem like a strange concept from the outside looking in. Before I converted to Islam, I didn't understand why so many Muslims looked forward to a month of conscripted fasting. Now that I'm on the other side of the belief fence, I totally understand why my fellow Muslims regard Ramadan so highly. The sense of community and the overwhelming feeling of presence that emerges during such an intentional act of worship is second to none. However, there's another reason why so many Muslims cherish Ramadan: once it's over, we get Eid al-Fitr, one of our few holidays.
The religious festival Eid al-Fitr, or the "Festival of Breaking the Fast," is one of two major holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world. In the United States, Eid al-Fitr 2022 begins on the evening of Sunday, May 1 and ends on the evening of Monday, May 2.
Also known as the "Lesser Eid," Eid al-Fitr commemorates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. An occasion for special prayers, family visits, gift-giving and charity, it takes place over one to three days, beginning on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month in the Islamic calendar.
Due to the copious prohibitions in Islam- including, but not limited to, alcohol consumption and venerating imagery from other religions- most holidays are off-limits for practicing Muslims. Although the opinions on what holidays are permissible vary depending on the person and sect, Muslims usually avoid all major celebrations. As a result, Eid is our Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving rolled into one.
Eid Mubarak, everyone.