Id Fiesta

Id-ul-Fitr means the 'festival of breaking the fast'. The fast of Ramadan is broken with special prayers and festivities. 'Fitr' is derived from the word 'fatar' meaning 'breaking'. Another connotation suggests that it is derived from fitrah or 'alms'. Certain Sunni Muslims believe that fitr comes from fitrat meaning 'nature' and Id-ul-Fitr is the celebration of god's magnanimity in providing nature to man. Celebrated on the first day of the new moon in Shawwal, it marks the end of Ramadan.

In the morning everyone takes a bath, wears new or clean clothes, applies perfume, eats dates or some other sweet before walking to the mosque for Id prayers. Men wear white clothes because white symbolizes purity and austerity. On this day, according to the Quran, Allah has intended a dole for every Muslim who is free and is in possession of alms worthy capital. This Id-ul-Fitr alms are given to the poor on Id-ul-Fitr.

Do Rakat Namaz, the Id-special prayer is performed in the morning in the mosque. Charitable gift, called Sadaqah Fitr, is a dole to break the fast. It is to be given to a needy person as thanksgiving. Even one who has not kept the rojas is expected to give alms. The amount to be gifted must be in excess of one's essential needs and free from all encumbrances of debt. Food grains or their cost are permitted to be donated. The Quran also specifies the grain and their quantities. A person should give 3.5 lb of wheat or its flour per head, or 7lb of barley per head or their cost. Do Rakat Namaz is performed These prayers can be read anytime between sunrise and just afternoon. Even women in veil attend the prayers in special chambers.

The 30-day fast is broken on Id-ul-Fitr with sumptuous feasts which people embrace each other three times, as is laid down in the Quran. The festival originated when after proclaiming Ramadan as the period of fasting and austerity, Prophet Muhammad announced a day for celebrations to reaffirm the feeling of Id-ul-Fitr brotherhood. Women prepare sweets at home. Vermicelli cooked in sweetened milk, is popular. People then go for Id get together and socializing. Some people visit cemeteries and stay there for many hours, often even camping out overnight. This is perhaps to honor their ancestors and to be with their spirits. To a devout Muslim, Id is a time to forget all past grievances.

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