Eid Al-Fitr 2022: When is it and what are its origins?

·4-min read
Eid al-Fitr is expected to start on Monday May 2  (AP)
Eid al-Fitr is expected to start on Monday May 2 (AP)

Eid al-Fitr is less than two weeks away, and Muslims around the world are already preparing for the celebration.

The holy festival is one of the two official holidays celebrated in the religion of Islam, and it lasts for three days.

Here is everything you need to know about Eid al-Fitr:

When is Eid al-Fitr 2022?

Eid al-Fitr is a three day festival which will start on Monday May 2 and last until Wednesday May 4 (inclusive).

In the Gregorian calendar, the dates of Islamic holidays change every year because Islam has its own calendar, called the Hijri calendar.

The Hijri calendar is a fully lunar calendar calculates the time the moon takes to go through each of its phases. The start of any Islamic month begins on the new crescent moon when sighted by religious authorities.

Muslims study the moon to determine the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid (Getty)
Muslims study the moon to determine the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid (Getty)

There are 12 months per lunar year, but only about 354 days, which is approximately 11 days less than a solar year. As such, the dates of Islamic holidays move forward by 10-11 days each year.

In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr always falls on the first day of Shawwal, which is the tenth month.

What is Eid al-Fitr?

The name of this Islamic festival translates to the Feast of Breaking the Fast, and it is a celebration marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.

Eid al-Fitr starts on the day after the end of Ramadan. It is known as the lesser Eid, as the celebrations typically last for three days, which is one day less than the other Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or ‘big Eid’.

This Eid is seen as a spiritual celebration of Allah’s gift of strength and endurance which allows Muslims to get through the fasting of Ramadan.

It is a time for charity, known as Zakat al-Fitr, and people are expected to give to the poor – be it donating money, food or time.

Fasting is forbidden on the day of Eid, in contrast to the 30 days that come before.

How do Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr?

Eid celebrations begin with prayers at dawn, which usually take place in the mosque.However, lockdown restrictions might affect the number of people allowed in a place of worship.

Eid celebrations begin with the Eid prayer, usually in the mosque (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)
Eid celebrations begin with the Eid prayer, usually in the mosque (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

After the prayers, Muslims celebrate in various ways, community members will tend to meet up to share rich, sweet food and celebrate together.

Muslims are expect to adorn their finest clothing for the celebration, and many women also apply henna on their hands to mark the celebration.

Many girls and women mark Eid festivities by decorating their hands with henna (AFP/Getty Images)
Many girls and women mark Eid festivities by decorating their hands with henna (AFP/Getty Images)

This holiday is also an exciting time for Muslim children, as older relatives or family friends are required to provide them with an Eidiyah, or gift.

Money is commonly given, but children will often also receive other gifts such as toys.

When does Ramadan end?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims, during which they observe a 29-30 day fast.

This is because Muslims believe that during this month, the Islamic Holy Book, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in a night called Laylat-ul -Qadr, or the Night of Decree.

This year, the fasting season is predicted to end on Sunday 1 May, but this could change depending on the sighting of the moon.

When is Eid al-Adha 2022?

Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, falls later in the summer and honours Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

It is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhū al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar. The exact date is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon.

The date of the big Eid also varies year on year, much like Eid al-Fitr. This year, it is predicted to start on July 9, although this can vary around the world.

This is also the time of year when many Muslims make a five-day pilgrimage to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, called Hajj.

All Muslims who are able to make the pilgrimage are required to travel to Mecca at least once in their lifetime to pray before Kaaba, the religion’s most sacred shrine.

Thousands of Muslims assemble around the Kaaba for Hajj (AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of Muslims assemble around the Kaaba for Hajj (AFP/Getty Images)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting