(Happy Eid! To all Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists and anyone else! A joyous occasion should be shared by all! May we all attain happiness and guidance in this life and the success in the next!)
What is 'Eid?
In the effort of bridging gaps of misunderstanding, please accept this explanation from me as a gesture to create better understanding. I hope you benefit from this little anecdote!
There are two Eid or large celebrations that happen throughout the Muslim lunar calendar, 'Eid ul Fitr and 'Eid ul Adha. 'Eid ul Fitr is the celebration that happens on the 1st day after the month of fasting, Ramadan, is completed. 'Eid is said to be a gift or present from God that is for those who fasted, people aren't allowed to fast this day and the community is assembled for the 'Eid prayer. Ramadan was the month that the Qur'an was sent down, and also we have a tradition that all the original books sent with prophets were sent down in this month as well throughout history.
Everyone is encouraged to buy a fresh set of clothing and donate a measure of grain, or in this day and age money that can be used for the feeding of the poor so that they too can have an 'Eid feast. That little amount of grain translates to about $7 , but you can give more. It is said that that amount purifies your fasting from all the minor mistakes that took place throughout the month. Though you can give this little amount on Eid, though it is better to give earlier so it can go to the poor.
The celebration is for not only hopefully completing the month of fasting successfully, but also rejoicing in the hopes of God's mercy for those who strived. His mercy is shown by way of the forgiving of sins and mistakes, and granting of many many bounties both in this life and the next.
After the 'Eid prayer everyone gets up and goes around and hugs one another or shakes hands and says Eid Mubarak or Blessed Eid (to you)! This strengthens the community bond and encourages social behaviour. Of course men and women are separate so no mischief can happen and the dignity of people is preserved from rumour mongers. That time is a place of prayer, and not for checking girls out!
After this point we go to our homes and get ready either to host or visit our friends and relatives. We also pay our Zakat (2.5% obligatory charity on our wealth that exceeds our mean and has been in our possession for a year) near the end of the month of Ramadan as it is charged with blessings and encouraged to do so.
We are told that if you have missed a fast you have till next Ramadan to make it up, also if you want to get the reward of fasting for an entire year, merely fast another 6 days within this month (of course after you make up your missed fasts). These 6 extra optional fasts don't even have to be in a row either, simply any time during this month after Ramadan.
I pray that Allah accepts everyone's striving in this month of huge blessings and 'Eid Mubarak to you whatever day it falls on!
For more information on 'Eid please see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_ul-F…
For more information on Ramadan please see here: omar-dogan.deviantart.com/jour…
I really do thank you guys and I hope I have been of some use to you.
Asalaamu Alaikum = Peace be upon you!