Observing Ramadan and Celebrating Eid Al Fitr 2018 in the United States

Filed in American Culture by on June 11, 2018 0 Comments

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The holy month of Ramadan 2018 will come to an end this week. Eid Al Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, will be enjoyed by Muslims around the world with family, feasts, and merriment.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is mandatory for all Muslims as part of the five pillars of Islam. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity, and a visit to Mecca once in a person’s lifetime.

Fasting from dawn until dusk during Ramadan can be particularly challenging in the West where there are fewer Muslims and less of an adaption among the greater society. While Islam is the second largest religion in the world and there are 1.8 billion Muslims globally, there are only  3.5 million living in the United States.

It can also be particularly challenging when Ramadan lands in hot summer months and one must abstain from water and food. While there are exceptions for pregnant women and people in poor health, Ramadan can be challenging for anyone. Yet, the fasting period is important to the faithful as it allows individuals to seek forgiveness, express gratitude, and grow in their empathy and faith. It’s also a time to deeply contemplate the teachings from Islam’s holy book the Koran.

Ramadan begins 10 days earlier each year as Islam follows a lunar calendar. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year, Ramadan migrates across all seasons.

Though the prayers and merriment are commonplace, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated in unique ways across cultures. The type of clothing that is worn, the gifts given to children, and the food that is enjoyed varies culture to culture.

Tell us about your fasting and Eid Al Fitr celebration experiences in the United States. How is it different from home?

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