Today is the first day of Shawwal, when Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated, marking the end of Ramadan. The time of fasting is over, and celebrations is the order of the day. On this day Muslims gather in huge numbers on special open-air prayer grounds or in mosques for the Eid prayer, which includes a sermon. There is no call to prayer for this salaat, and it is only performed as part of a congregation. After the dawn prayer (Fajr) Muslims have a small breakfast, as fasting on Eid is prohibited, shower, brush their teeth, dress in new clothes and apply perfume, before attending the Eid prayer, which, this morning, was just after 6am.

After the Eid prayer families, friends and often communities gather for a joyous celebration. Gifts are usually given to children and a festive air permeates the whole community. To ensure that all Muslims have enough food to celebrate Eid, every Muslim have to give Sadaqa-al-Fitr. This charity is given during the last days of Ramadan and consist of non-perishable foods that the head of a family donate on behalf of his family. Each person (including babies and children) should give the equivalent of 2.5 kg of food.

Eid is a time in which Muslims around the world feel a brotherly bond and is a time for forgiveness and making amends. The celebrations last anything from one to three days depending on where in the world you find yourself.

Eid Mubarak!