On what day is Eid al-Fitr 2023? Muslims prepare for end of Ramadan

On what day is Eid al-Fitr 2023? Muslims prepare for end of Ramadan
2 min read
20 April, 2023
Eid al-Fitr will this year fall on either Friday 21 April or Saturday 22 April, depending on sightings of the new moon.
Eid al-Fitr will begin on either Friday 21 April or Saturday 22 April this year [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty]

Eid Al-Fitr, or 'Celebration of the Breaking of the Fast', follows the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in which many Muslims fast from sunrise until sundown.

Muslims use the lunar calendar, with a new moon marking a new month. Like other months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan can be either 29 or 30 days long - which can make determining on what day Eid will begin difficult.

The start of the new month is traditionally decided by sightings of the new moon by Islamic astronomy bodies, so Muslims often do not know what day Eid will be on until the night before. This year, Ramadan began on 23 March, so Eid will fall on either Friday or Saturday.

Islamic authorities in each country look for the new moon, so Eid can take place on different days in different countries, depending on sightings.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia and Turkey announced that Eid would fall on Friday.

Seven countries in Southeast Asia and Australasia - Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Sultanate of Brunei, and Thailand - have all said Eid will be on Saturday 22 April as authorities were not able to confirm the sighting of the crescent moon, the International Astronomy Centre said Thursday.

A statement released Wednesday by the International Astronomy Centre signed by astronomers from 13 countries - Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and the UAE - said that choosing the date for Eid is "the prerogative of the legal authorities in Islamic countries".

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However, some Australians will be celebrating Eid on Friday.

The Lakemba Mosque - Australia’s largest mosque, located in Sydney - has said it will celebrate Eid on Friday, citing several decisions including one by the European Council for Fatwa and Research. However, the Australian National Imams Council announced that Eid will be on Saturday, saying that it will be impossible to see the new moon in Australia on Thursday night. 

On some Eids, Muslims from different sects following their respective authorities begin and end Ramadan on different days.

For most Muslims, the festival is spent meeting family and friends. Children are often given gifts or money by their elders.

It is generally celebrated for three days in Muslim countries.