A united Eid Al-Fitr: A rarity as (almost) all Muslims will celebrate on same day

A united Eid Al-Fitr: A rarity as (almost) all Muslims will celebrate on same day
Most Islamic countries have declared that Eid Al-Fitr will be on 10 April, marking a rare occasion where nearly all Muslims will celebrate on the same day
3 min read
09 April, 2024
Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr this week, which signals the end of the holy month of Ramadan [GETTY]

This year almost all Muslims will be united in their Eid celebrations, as Saudi Arabia and other countries announced that the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr will fall on 10 April.

This marks a rare occasion when the festival will take place on the same day for Muslims, with Niger and Nigeria being among the few exceptions.

Eid Al-Fitr, which is the three day celebration that comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast daily, also signals the start of a new Hijri month, Shawwal.

Due to different sightings of the moon, Sunni and Shia Muslims often celebrate Eid on different days and there are also differences between Sunni countries with Morocco often marking it one day after Saudi Arabia.

Countries which have announced Eid to be on 10 April include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Australia and Kuwait.

Other countries, including Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt and Yemen have also said that Eid will be celebrated on Wednesday.

It is almost guaranteed that the moon will be spotted on Tuesday night, meaning other countries, including Iran, will most likely follow suit.

The announcement was made after moonsighting committees gathered late on Monday to see if the crescent moon, which marks the start of Shawwal, was visible in the sky.

Saudi Arabia declared Eid to be on Wednesday in an official statement.

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"Supreme court declares tomorrow the last day of Ramadan and Wednesday the first day of Eid al-Fitr," the official Saudi Press Agency said on its X account.

In previous years, countries have celebrated Eid on different days depending on whether a new moon was sighted, as Islam is based on a lunar calendar.

This year, Niger, Nigeria and Mali are celebrating Eid on Tuesday after the crescent moon was spotted on Monday evening.

Eid celebrations

Eid Al-Fitr is one of Islam’s main religious celebrations, and will see worshippers mark the occasion with special congregational prayers

In many Muslim-majority countries, Eid is a national holiday, with businesses and workplaces closing, and Muslims spending time with friends and family, visiting the sick, and eating together.

Some traditions include gifting young children presents or money, donating food and money to those in need, wearing smart new clothes, and eating sweets.

Streets and homes in Muslim-majority countries such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be decorated with lights while entertainment, such as fairgrounds, are put on for young children and families.

This year, Eid will be markedly different for Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, who have been under siege and war since 7 October.

More than 33,000 Palestinians in Gaza alone have been killed in seven months, while the enclave has little access to food, aid, electricity and water.