Eid Al Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month Shawwal and the first day after the month-long fasting and prayer during Ramadan.
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Note: Eid al-Fitr holidays varies within public and private sectors in the UAE.
In UAE, as in other Muslim countries, there is an official government-appointed, moon-sighting committee that declares Eid Al Fitr upon the sighting of the crescent moon. The dates for Eid Al Fitr varies every year.
In UAE, Eid Al Fitr is an official public holiday – both government and private employees typically receive two paid off-work days. Businesses will often have adjusted hours if they are open, and there will be big crowds surrounding the mosques and causing congested traffic.
Many Emirati Muslims will go to mosques on Eid Al Fitr for prayer, to hear a sermon called a khutba, and to give away food as an act of charity. Sometimes, these prayer sessions will be held in sports arenas or other large-capacity public gathering places.
Local communities may also hold communal meals and children’s events. Private families may also hold festive meals and share the food with the poor, and it is common to wear fine, new clothing to these events. Many will also visit the homes of friends and relatives, give candy and other gifts to children, and send greeting cards to one another with the words “Eid Mubbarak!”, meaning “Blessed Eid!” printed on them.
It is customary, and of religious significance, to give gifts of food to the poor during the month of Ramadan. Those who fail to do so or who just want to be “extra generous,” however, often give it on Eid Al Fitr. The food given is often such items as raisins, dates, flour, or barley. Money of equivalent value to such food gifts is also sometimes donated.