It is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends
the completion of a month of blessings and joy.
Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a
determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley,
dates, rice, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the
celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast-breaking).
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to
perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts
(especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the
holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In Muslim countries, the 3-day
period is an official government/school holiday.
When the sighting of the moon of Shawwal is confirmed, Muslims recite the "Takbir"
which is a prayer glorifying the almighty. The Takbir consists of the lines:
La ila-ha ill-lal-lah Allaho-Akber,
Allaho-Akber Wa-lilahill hamd.
Allah is great, Allah is great.
There is no deity but Allah
Allah is great, Allah is great
And all praises are for Allah.