RAMADAN is drawing to a close for Muslims across the world, which means Eid al-Fitr is upon us.
In Saudi Arabia Eid is a significant public holiday, so the sighting of the moon which marks the festival’s beginning is a major event. Here’s what you need to know…
AFP – Getty The moon sighting in Saudi Arabia heralds the start of a holiday
Has the Eid al-Fitr moon sighting started?
Eid al-Fitr officially begins with the sighting of the moon, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia had been asking for Muslims living in the country to keep lookout for the crescent moon and report it to a local authority.
Tonight, the crescent of the Shawwal moon was spotted in Saudi Arabia on Thursday evening.
Friday, June 15 will therefore be the first day of Eid al-Fitr.
Eid begins the month of Shawwal, which starts with a feast to end the period of fasting during Ramadan.
Reuters In Saudi Arabia, the public has been asked to look out for the crescent moon
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting that started on May 16 this year.
While the celebration is a public holiday in many Muslim countries it isn’t in the UK, despite a campaign for it to be recognised back in 2014.
During Eid, Muslims will often purchase new clothes for the occasion and take part in festivals and celebrations.
Many will wake up early to pray at a mosque or outdoor prayer venue, while gifts and cards are often exchanged among friends and family.
Eid means “celebration” and Mubarak means “blessed”, with “Eid Mubarak” often used as a greeting over this period.
Is there another Eid celebration in the calendar?
As well as Eid al-Fitr, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, which is expected to take place on Tuesday, August 21, this year.
It falls in the middle of the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.
The celebration revolves around when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith.