When is Eid al-Fitr 2024 and how will it be marked?

When is Eid al-Fitr 2024 and how will it be marked?
Muslims around the world will be marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, with a three-day celebration.
3 min read
08 April, 2024
Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr this week [Getty]

Muslims around the world will be marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan this week, with a celebration known as Eid al-Fitr.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, sees Muslims fast every day from pre-dawn until sunset, as outlined in the Quran and one of the five pillars of Islam.

When the holy month comes to an end, a three-day celebration is announced.

However, the date of the celebration changes every year as the Islamic-based lunar calendar is determined by the sighting of the new moon.

When a new crescent moon is spotted, which is carried out by committees in Muslim-majority countries, this determines the start of the new month in the Islamic calendar, and Eid.

Astronomical calculations state that the month of Ramadan is expected to last 30 days this year, making the first day of the celebration on Wednesday 10 April.

However, because lunar months can vary between 29 and 30 days, Muslims could find out on the evening of 8 April which day Eid will take place.

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After sunset on 8 April moon sighting committees will gather and face west to see if the crescent moon is visible in the sky.

If it's spotted, then the following day will be declared as Eid, if not, then Muslims will be required to fast another day.

Some countries may celebrate Eid on different days due to the sighting of the moon in their country.

How is Eid celebrated?

Eid is celebrated in different ways around the world according to each country’s traditions and customs.

However, across the world, Eid typically starts with early morning prayer which starts after dawn.

The prayers are followed by a khutba, or sermon, given by a scholar or sheikh, after which people will greet each other with "Eid Mubarak", Arabic for "have a blessed Eid".

The prayers are sometimes held outdoors to accommodate for the large numbers of Muslims.

It is also customary for Muslims to wear their best garments, or new clothing, to mark the occasion.

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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, and eating sweets.

Countries such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as other Muslim-majority countries will be decorated with lights as festivities are arranged for young children and families to enjoy, including fairgrounds.

Before Ramadan comes to an end, Muslims are required to give Zakat al-Fitr, Arabic for "charity of breaking the fast" - a one off-donation that equates to around £7 per person, and allows those less fortunate to also celebrate Eid.

It is obligatory for all Muslims to pay the amount, regardless of age or gender, so long as they possess enough to feed themselves. The head of the family will pay on behalf of any children or dependants.

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.