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Eid al-Fitr: Celebrating the Joy of Completion and Renewal

Eid Al Fitr is celebrated across the globe every year, marking the end of Ramadan. It is considered the festival of fast breaking.

Every year, Muslims wait at the end of Ramadan to see if moon sighting committees spot the new crescent moon on the 28th or 29th day. If they do, that’s the end of Ramadan, the start of the month of Shawwal, and the beginning of Eid Al Fitr.

When the sun sets on April 9, Muslims around the world will look skyward for a crescent of pale white light—the conclusion to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan emblazoned in the night sky.

Beginning and ending with the new moon, Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Arabic lunar calendar. It is believed by Muslims to be when the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than a millennium ago. From sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and vices like gossip and lying. Not only is it meant to be a period of self-reflection, but to serve as a reminder to be charitable to the less fortunate.

Celebrations and Traditions

Eid al-Fitr is also a time of festive gatherings and joyous celebrations. Families come together to share meals, exchange gifts, and express gratitude for the blessings they have received. Traditional foods vary widely depending on cultural customs.

One of the central customs of Eid al-Fitr is the giving of Zakat al-Fitr, a form of charity aimed at helping those in need. Muslims are required to give a specific amount of money or food to those less fortunate before performing the Eid prayer. This act of charity ensures that everyone in the community can partake in the celebrations and experience the joy of Eid.

Spending Eid al-Fitr Away from Home

Being away from home during Eid al-Fitr can present unique challenges, especially for those who are far from their families and familiar cultural surroundings. The absence of loved ones, the sights, sounds, and smells of home, and the cherished traditions of Eid can amplify feelings of homesickness and longing.

Pak Agus, an industrious factory worker at Polindo Utama, found himself in a situation where he was unable to make the journey back to his beloved home. This year, he was to experience the joyous occasion of Eid al-Fitr, a significant religious holiday, miles away from his family. It was a bittersweet moment, filled with contrasting emotions of joy and sorrow.

The joy of the festival was marred by the heart-wrenching realization that he would miss the traditional festivities that he held so dear.

This realization, in particular, was a poignant moment for him. He candidly admitted that the thought of being absent from the family gathering and the laughter-filled home during this special time moved him deeply.

Yet, it’s also an opportunity to embrace diversity, create new traditions, and strengthen one’s sense of belonging to the global Muslim community. Whether celebrating with friends, participating in local festivities, or connecting with loved ones from afar, the spirit of Eid transcends distance and reminds us of the bonds of faith and fellowship that unite us all.

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