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Id Ul Fitr, Festival of Eid Ul Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr in 2012
Id ul Fitr is celebrated at the end of the Muslim month of fasting known as 'Ramadan”. Id-ul-Fitr is also abbreviated as “Eid”. “Eid” literally means festivities. Muslims keep fast for the whole month of Ramadan. On the day of the Id-ul-Fitr, they break their fast. Therefore the festival is also acknowledged as the “Festival of the completing of the fast”. It occurs the moment the moon is spotted.
The day before the Id ul Fitr: The day before, the preparation starts in full swing. People go to markets and shopping malls to purchase the items required for the Eid. Women, especially the young girls decorate their hands with henna and colorful bangles. The night before Eid is called 'chand raat'.

On the day of Id-ul-Fitr: On the day of Id-ul-Fitr, special food and sweets are prepared and then they are circulated among neighbors as well as associates. On this day family get together is organized. Social feasts ate also organized. The devotees gather in the mosque to offer prayers. People can be seen greeting each other. The most common greeting is “Id mubarak”. The whole atmosphere is that of great happiness. Before the prayers start, every Muslim must give alms to the needy Muslims. It is 2 kg of food grain or cash equivalent to that amount. The alms should be given much earlier as it helps the needy Muslims to purchase food stuffs and other requirements to celebrate the festival with happiness. The idea is to make each Muslim happy on the day of Eid. People end their animosities on the day of Eid. People hug each other and they forget their past animosities. Gifts are exchanged. The children are given small sum of money called, 'Eidi'.

How the day proceeds on Eid: In the morning, men generally wear Thobe, Jubba or Sherwani and women usually wear Shalwar Kameez. Men go to the mosques to offer prayers. People greet each other after that. People forget their past animosities and greet each other. The women are mostly engaged in making food and delicacies. The food and the delicacies are then distributed among family, friends and neighbors. People also go to the cemeteries and remember the deceased.

There is a huge gathering for offering prayers especially in the bigger and famous mosques. In Delhi, there is a huge crowd in and around Jama masjid to offer prayers.

Eid is a great Muslim festival. There is a great moral and religious significance attached to this festival. This festival can also be seen as a preference for spiritual world than the physical world.

Id ul Fitr : Sunday, 19 August 2012

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