In just a few weeks’ time Muslims throughout the world will be celebrating Eid Al-Fitr the important religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity” while Fitr means “to break the fast” and this is celebrated starting on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal.

Shawwal is the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar and Eid Al-Fitr falls on the first day which marks the start of a 3-day holiday period where people give to charity for those in need and celebrate with their friends and family on the completion of Ramadan.

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 and after the prayer they will celebrate with their friends and family over the national holiday period which in Egypt will be from 6th – 8th July.

This holiday period celebrates the end of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-dusk fasting, in Sharm el Sheikh the fast lasts from sunrise (04:50) until sunset (18:45), during the entire month of Ramadan and Eid falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any month is based on the Islamic calendar (Hirji) which is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. The months vary and are based on the observation of the new moon by the local religious authorities so the exact date of celebration can differ depending on the locality but in most countries is celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia. Here in Egypt the exact date is determined by the Dar Al-Ifta and is expected to begin on 6th July but, in accordance with Muslim tradition, this will only be decided based upon the sightings of the moon on 4th July.

Eid Al-Fitr is always a busy time at Sharks Bay where families and friends will come to relax for their holidays after their month of fasting and we wish them all a happy and enjoyable time here on the beautiful shores of the Red Sea or wherever else their celebrations may take them.