Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim religious festival that is celebrated by Muslims in all parts of the world. It is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the Islamic month which comes directly after Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. During Eid, Muslims mostly buy new clothes and celebrate with families. Friends also exchange gifts and greet each other using the traditional Eid greeting, “Eid Mubarak.”
Our question: When is Eid al-Fitr 2018
Eid al-Fitr 2018 will be celebrated on Friday, 15th of June 2018 according to the astronomical calculations. The actual date, however, depends on the sighting of the crescent because the Islamic calendar is a lunar one. This is important because people experience Ramadan in different seasons. That is, if the Islamic calendar were a solar one, Ramadan in some countries would always be in summer with longer daylights. In other countries, Ramadan would be in winter. So, lunar calendar allows Muslims to enjoy Ramadan and Eid in different seasons.
The beginning of the 10th month of Shawwal is debated. In most countries, Muslims know the date of Eid al-Fitr from the official sighting news instead of observing crescent themselves. Other people resort to astronomical observations to know the time of the new moon’s arrival. Therefore, Eid dates might differ across the world but they remain within one or two days of each other.
For instance, in Saudia Arabia, they announce the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid al-Fitr depending on people’s sighting of Moon. Muslims in other countries then follow this announcement.
Iran, where most people are Shia Muslims, follows the government announcement. Iraq, which has more Shia Muslims than Sunni ones, follows a mix of the two. That is , the Shia follow the announcement of the leading cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s announcement. On the other hand, the Sunni follow their clerics. Turkey, the county which is known to be secular, prefers to use astronomical calculations to determine the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr.