The end of Ramadan, this year, will give way to another Muslim holiday; Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr, commonly referred to as just Eid, is a three-day festival for Muslims that starts immediately after the end of Ramadan. Learn more about how Canadian Muslims are celebrating Eid 2022 and its traditions.
What Is Eid?
To understand what Eid is, we first need to look at what the word means. “Eid”, by itself, just means “festival”, in Arabic. That is why Eid by itself is not actually a holiday. In fact, there are two holidays that people both Eid.
The holiday that comes after Ramadan is known as Eid al-Fitr or the “Festival of Breaking Fast”. Another name for Eid al-Fitr is Lesser Eid because it generally has smaller celebrations than “Greater Eid”. Most people refer to Greater Eid as Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is the biggest Muslim holiday and it takes place roughly two months after Eid al-Fitr.
The Festival of Breaking Fast
The end of Ramadan gives way to Eid al-Fitr. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day. Once Ramadan is over, Muslims celebrate by having a feast on the day of Eid al-Fitr. That is why we call it the Festival of Breaking Fast.
Both Eids last three days but the first day always has the biggest celebrations. In Canada, most families don’t celebrate for three days and only celebrate on the first day. Eid al-Fitr is a family holiday. That is why Eid usually involves inviting friends and family over for a feast.
When Is Eid al-Fitr 2022?
Eid, and all other Muslim holidays, are determined by the Islamic Lunar Calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. As the name suggests, the Islamic Calendar looks at the movements of the moon to determine what day it is. Because of this, Eid is on a different day of the Gregorian Calendar, every year. Looking at the Hijri Calendar, Eid al-Fitr begins on the 1st day of Shawwal, which is the tenth Islamic month. Eid al-Fitr 2022 could fall on either May 1 or May 2 this year, depending on when the new moon occurs.
Celebrating the Holiday in Canada
Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Rather than dividing us, our differences bring us closer together. Religious festivals are the perfect example. Even though Eid is a Muslim holiday, people from all backgrounds and ethnicities take part in the celebrations. Holidays like Eid allow Canadians to see what other cultures and traditions look like. It brings us closer together and allows us to appreciate the unique aspects of cultures we otherwise would have never seen.
Check out these Eid 2022 festivals that the Muslim Association of Canada sponsors in cities across Canada:
Eid al-Fitr Traditions in Canada
Canadian Muslims have developed a unique Eid culture that can be seen nowhere else in the world. Traditional Eid al-Fitr in most countries involves massive street parties, inviting close relatives for dinner and attending morning Eid prayers in large, open-air gatherings. Canadians, however, like to do things a little differently, while still capturing everything that Eid stands for.
Since many people don’t have close relatives living near them, it is a common practice to invite friends and neighbours to Eid parties instead. Most Eid parties in Canada take place indoors. This doesn’t stop them from being just as grand. Eid parties consist of marvellous decorations and brilliant light displays. Not to mention all the delicious food and traditional dishes. Eid would not be the same without its over-the-top food preparations. Remember, your guests did just finish 30 days of fasting.
Eid in Canada still follows many original Eid traditions. One such tradition is Zakat al-Fitr, or “Charity of Breaking the Fast”, in Arabic. Zakat al-Fitr requires every financially-able Muslim to give charity to someone in need at the end of Ramadan. This, “Zakat”, or charity, is obligatory for every Muslim before the morning Eid prayers that signal the start of Eid.
Another Eid tradition found across the world is Eidi. Eidi, also known as Salami, is a type of gift that is given only on Eid. According to tradition, older relatives or family friends give Eidi to children at the beginning of Eid. While Eidi can be anything, it is mostly given as paper money, so that the children can spend it wherever they like.
My name is Zain Usmani and I am a freelance content writer who currently resides in Mississauga, Ontario. I immigrated from Pakistan to Canada 5 years ago and have lived in many cities ever since. I have lived in Calgary AB, Edmonton AB, Regina SK, London ON, and Mississauga ON, while visiting over 40 Canadian cities and towns. I have a great passion for writing and I love helping people through it.