So this is our first Eid Celebration, a completely new experience for us.
Ramadan is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; the month in which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is the Islamic month of fasting (sawm), in which participating Muslims do not eat or drink anything from true dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the person patience, sacrifice and humility. Ramadan is a time to fast for the sake of God, and to offer more prayer than usual. During Ramadan Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance into the future, ask for help in refraining from everyday evils and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.
This month happens on different months each year.
The Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted. (THIS MOON WAS SIGHTED TONIGHT) The Eid falls after 29 or 30 days of fasting, as per the lunar sighting. Eid ul-Fitr means the Festival of Breaking the Fast; a special celebration is made. Food is donated to the poor (‘Zakat al-Fitr’), everyone puts on their best, usually new clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends. The prayer is two rakaahs only, and it is an optional prayer as opposed to the compulsory five daily prayers.
We therefore have a holiday, so Steve is home until Sunday and then back to work. This is all new to us, but very interesting to note the customs.
A little bit of culture from Qatar for you all!