Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i declared Tuesday a public holiday to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.
This is in accordance with the powers conferred by section 2 (1) of the Public Holidays Act.
Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting which runs between 29 and 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting.
As the month comes to an end, Muslims from around the world will be preparing for Eid al-Fitr and this depends on the sighting of the moon, the celebration begins on Monday for some, Tuesday and Wednesday.
This is how it is explained, Lunar months last either 29 or 30 days so Muslims usually have to wait until after sunset on the 29th day to verify its date.
On the 29th night of the month, local moon sighters will scan the horizon for the crescent Moon. If the new moon is visible, the next day will be Eid hence the variation of celebration dates.
Muslims celebrate Eid by partaking in the prayer they refer to as “Salat Al Eid” in Arabic, a service that takes place shortly after dawn, followed by a short sermon.
During this period, Muslims wear new clothes and head to the mosque where they eat something sweet such as a date and recite a small prayer called a takbeer.
In the Muslim tradition, Eid al-Fitr is a festival to show gratitude to Allah for the help and strength he gave them throughout the month of Ramadan to help them practice self-control, they portray this by giving money to the less fortunate in the society, sending Eid greetings and feasting with families.
Muslims will use a famous phrase, “Eid Mubarak”, for greetings during this period, an Arabic term that means ‘blessed festival’.
According to the internet, the first Eid al-Fitr was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions after their victory in the battle of Jang-e-Badar, a turning point in Muhammad’s struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca during the early days of Islam.
As our Muslim brothers and sisters prepare to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, we would like to wish them well as we urge them to remember Disabled families on the streets.