If you want to wish someone “Happy Eid” this year, the traditional way is to greet them “Eid Mubarak”.
Muslims around the world today celebrate the festival of Eid al-Fitr as they commemorate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Sadly, many of Eid’s massive celebrations have been made impossible again by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, some traditions are still on the table, such as the well-known Arab greeting observers wish each other during the festival.
How to wish someone a Happy Eid
If you want to wish someone “Happy Eid” this year, the traditional way is to greet them with “Eid Mubarak”. This is the Arabic phrase used by Muslims during both the celebration of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha later in the year.
The Arabic word ‘mubarak’ translates as ‘blessed’ while ‘Eid’ means feast, festival or celebration, so ‘Eid Mubarak’ can literally mean ‘blessed celebration’ or ‘blessed feast’ although it is commonly interpreted as simply someone wish a “happy Eid”.
In exactly the same way, Muslims will often wish their fellow observers “Ramadan Mubarak” at the beginning of the holy month and during the fast period.
“Ramadan Kareem” is less commonly used, but translates as “Generous Ramadan” – while the phrase can be used as a greeting in a similar way to “Ramadan Mubarak”, it can also describe Ramadan when referred to in a broader context .
There is some debate as to whether the use of “Ramadan Kareem” is appropriate, as the expectation of generosity can be balanced against the principles of fasting and prayer that are central to observing the holy month.
However, others argue that the greeting can appropriately refer to the generosity of actions toward others. Khaled Boudemagh, described by Gulf News as a Dubai-based language expert, said, “Ramadan is a month of generosity, wish Kareem.”
Both “Mubarak” and “Kareem” are also given names in Arabic that have the same meaning as in the Eid and Ramadan greetings.
How is the Eid 2021 date calculated?
The date of Eid is calculated from the observation of the new crescent moon, which marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal – the tenth of the Islamic Hijri calendar.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia confirmed that the Shawwal crescent had not been observed that evening, confirming previous predictions that the most likely date for the sighting would be Wednesday, May 12. Ramadan will therefore end on that date, with Eid on Thursday.
This year’s Ramadan started a day later than predicted, as the moon is observed on Monday, April 12, instead of Sunday, April 11.
There is some debate as to whether the idea of a moon sighting should refer to the fact that you are physically witnessing the moon in your region, which may be hampered by factors such as weather conditions, or whether you should postpone sightings in Saudi Arabia or other regions.
Some people argue that technological advancements in astronomy mean that the rise of the new moon can be calculated with unprecedented accuracy, meaning a standardized start date can be used for all Muslims around the world, rather than having variations.
Since the festival of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar, the position of the month varies in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar.
As the Muslim Aid charity explains, “The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, commonly known as the lunar cycle. As a result, the holy month of Ramadan falls about 10 days earlier in the Gregorian calendar every year. ”
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shawwal, which follows Ramadan as the 10th month of the moon-based Islamic calendar.
The name comes from an Arabic term that translates as the “feast of the breaking of the fast” and, while not a public holiday in the UK, it is for many Muslim countries.
In normal years, it is traditional for Muslims to gather in a park to celebrate the breaking of their fast, with large-scale events and festival food (especially sweet treats), prayer and stalls.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions still in place in the UK and other countries, the common aspect of Eid will be hindered this year.
After Eid, some Muslims decide to fast every six days that follow. This stems from the Islamic belief that a good deed in Islam is rewarded 10 times, so fasting for 30 days during Ramadan and six days during Shawwal provides a year of goodwill.