In Iraq, Eid al Fitr is a three-day celebration. It is a time to be joyous and generous.
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Eid al Fitr is one of the most important of all Muslim holidays, celebrating the end of the fast of Ramadan and coming on the first day of the following month of Shawwal. It is kept with great fervour in Iraq, where it is a public holiday as in other Muslim-majority countries.
The date of Eid al Fitr varies on the Western calendar, as it is based on the Islamic lunar calendar. And as with other Muslim holidays, the official date is not known for sure ahead of time since a moon-sighting committee must make the determination when the day actually arrives.
It is a time when many Muslims attend mosque for prayers and sermons. There are also local community meals and kids’ events, and everyone is expected to donate a food-gift called “zakat al fitr” to the poor if they have not already done so during Ramadan.
Many in Iraq will also go shopping and buy new clothes for Eid al Fitr. And you will frequently hear the greeting “Eid Mubbarak!,” meaning “Blessed Eid!” Exchanging Eid greeting cards and giving small gifts to children are also common ways to celebrate the day.