Eid-al-Fitr (Ramadan ends)
From the evening of 12 May to the evening of 13 May
Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, as well being as a time for spiritual reflection and prayer.
This religious Eid is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. Many Muslims attend communal prayers and listen to a khutba (sermon).
There are some constituent parts of Eid al-Fitr that are recognised all over the world. For example, one of the five pillars of Islam is giving to charity, or Zakat. At Eid, there is a specific type of charitable giving called Zakat al-Fitr, which can take place at the end of Ramadan.
Under usual circumstances, the day starts with prayers and a big meal is usually the main event. Eid al-Fitr is sometimes referred to as the Sugar Feast, a nod to the fact that a large constituent part of the meal one eats at the festival is desserts.
But different countries around the world have different favourites:
Classic Turkish sweets such as Baklava and Turkish Delight are given to friends, family and neighbours as a present during Eid
Iraq and Saudi Arabia
The eating of dates is a very important part of both Ramadan and Eid, as they are a popular snack eaten at the pre-dawn meal before the fast (called the Suhoor). In these two countries though, they are of particular significance – lots of people will bake Kleichas, which are rose-flavoured biscuits that contain a filling of nuts and dates.
Bint al sahn is the preferred Yemeni sweet. In English it’s sometimes called honey cake, and is topped with nigella seeds.
As for the savoury offering, in Russia, Manti is a popular thing to eat at Eid. They’re usually stuffed with some sort of seasoned meat.
In China, You Xiang (flour, water and yeast patties fried in oil) are either given as a gift or eaten as part of the Eid feast. In Bangladesh, Korma is traditionally eaten, as well as various savoury pittas that are shared with family and friends.