Eid Mubarak greeting explained – and how to respond if someone says it to you

This weekend, millions of Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Muslims have been fasting during the hours of daylight – not even drinking water – for the past four weeks in an act known as sawm, one of the five pillars of Islam.

During this time, they also read the Quran, pray and perform charitable acts.

This year’s Ramadan started on April 23 and ends on Sunday (May 24).

The exact date of Eid depends on whether the crescent moon can be seen to mark the beginning of Shawwal, the next Islamic month.

This year it could have started on Saturday if the new moon was seen on Friday evening. Weather conditions have prevented this, meaning Ramadan lasts the full 30 days and Eid starts at sunset on Sundays.

Eid al-Fitr means “Festival of breaking the fast” and is a time for forgiveness and making up for it.

How do you wish someone happy Eid

Eid Mubarak is the most common greeting, although there are other alternatives.

Muslims traditionally say it to each other after saying the Eid prayer, and it means ‘happy holiday’.

The polite response is Khair Mubarak, which is a way of wishing someone good will in return.

Another greeting is Jazak Allah Khair, which means ‘May Allah reward you with goodness’.

Eid gifts

Traditionally, large groups of people are involved in Eid Mubarak prayers (photo taken in 2016)

In addition to greetings, many Muslims exchange cards and small gifts for Eid, as families traditionally gather to dine and visit friends and neighbors to share good wishes for the coming year.

It is also traditional to wear the best or new clothes for Eid, while in Muslim countries Eid can be celebrated for up to three days as a public holiday.

Eid Mubarak!


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