Muslims celebrate two main festivals known as Eids.
The first, Eid al-Fitr, or the "Feast of the Breaking" or
the "Feast of Fast-Breaking," celebrates the end of the holy
month of Ramadan.
The holiday lasts for three days. It is sometimes also known as the
The second, Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice,
marks the end of the hajj
pilgrimage and commemorates Abraham's
(Ibrahim's) willingness to sacrifice his son. The holiday
lasts for three or four days. It is sometimes also known as
the "Greater Eid."
The Eids are both statutory holidays in Muslim countries,
such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar.
The Eid holidays fall on the same date each year in the
lunar hejira calendar, or Islamic
calendar. But because the hejira calendar is 11 days shorter than the
West's Gregorian calendar, the
Eid holidays do not fall on the same day of the year
according to the Western calendar.
malls are open late into the night, and
filled with light and color - and with sale signs and crowds
of people shopping for gifts for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr!
In addition to giving gifts and enjoying festive meals with
family and friends, Eid al-Fitr also involves attending
special Eid prayers (to which one wears one's best new
clothes), and is a time to perform
Eid al-Adha, which comes at the end of Hajj, is also celebrated with prayer, visiting of
family and friends, and gift-giving. However, since it is a
feast commemorating the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice
his son, observance of the holiday includes donating and
slaughtering a sheep, or goat to feed the poor.
And whether you are Muslim or not, you greet Muslims with
"Happy Eid" or "Eid Mubarak" during the holidays.