The holidays of different cultures are part of what makes the rich tapestry of life so beautiful and interesting, but not everybody will participate in every celebration.
You might be wondering, do Hindus celebrate Eid?
No, while Hindus do not celebrate EID in a religious way, they respect and appreciate the holiday, and can even participate in the festivities.
Eid is a Muslim festival that takes place when Ramadan ends, and it is a public holiday in many countries.
Read ahead to find out more about what Eid actually is, and how Hindus might celebrate.
What Is Eid?
Eid al-Fitr is a festival that is important within the religion of Islam. It translates to the “Holiday of Breaking the Fast” and occurs at the end of Ramadan – which is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community for followers of the Muslim faith.
Observing Ramadan is a very significant principle of Islam. It is actually one of the Five Pillars of the faith that Muslims view as compulsory orders of God.
It’s the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and commemorates the first revelation of the prophet Muhammad, given by the angel Gabriel. These revelations would later become the Qur’an.
There is actually another Eid celebration as well, which is slightly less well-known in Western countries.
Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of the Sacrifice”, is actually a larger holiday than Eid al-Fitr. It honors Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismael, at Allah’s command.
Eid al-Adha starts on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, lasting for four days of prayer, visiting family, and exchanging gifts.
What Do Eid Celebrations Consist Of?
For many Muslims, Eid celebrations are centered around early morning prayers at the local mosque. Traditionally, the Eid prayers are held once the Fajr morning prayer has finished.
Traditionally, Muslims may put on new clothes and eat something sweet as they travel to the mosque, while reciting a takbir (short prayer).
Before attending the Eid prayers, Muslims are obliged to donate to charity in order to feed the poor, known as Zakat al-Fitr.
As for the rest of the day, many Muslims will get together and eat with family and friends, and elders often give money to younger family members as well.
To give well wishes to someone at Eid, you can offer the greeting “Eid Mubarak”, which means “blessed feast/festival”.
When Is Eid?
The date for Eid occurs after the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, and at the beginning of the tenth month, Shawwal. This calendar is a lunar calendar of 12 months. Each month lasts 29 or 30 days and starts with the sighting of a new crescent moon.
Nowadays, telescopes are sometimes used for determining when the crescent moon is first spotted. As there are Muslims all over the world, some will see it before others.
Traditionally, Makkah has been used at the center for the sighting.
This calendar is around 10 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.
Therefore, Ramadan starts 10 days earlier each year than it did the year before – and Eid is around 10 days earlier each year as well.
Can Hindus Celebrate Eid?
Although Hindus do not celebrate Eid as a religious event, they can certainly enjoy the festival – particularly in countries where the date is a public holiday.
While the religious significance of Eid is always to be respected, for many people, Eid is as much a cultural and traditional holiday as it is a religious one. Just as the traditions and festivities of Christmas can be enjoyed by followers of any faith, Eid can be a time of celebration, feasting, and family for Hindus as well as Muslims.
Many Hindus celebrate Eid as a way to bring the Hindu and Muslim communities together and will spend time with Muslim friends or family during the holiday.
Even Hindus that do not actively celebrate Eid in any way believe that all other faiths and religions should be accepted and respected. In Hinduism, you may support and participate in gatherings with other religions, while upholding your own traditions.
So, do Hindus celebrate Eid? Hindus don’t celebrate Eid in the same religious way that Muslims do, but many still participate in the holiday and enjoy the festivities.
Eid is a public holiday in a lot of different countries around the world, and Hindus respect and appreciate the practices of all other faiths and religions.
Many Hindus view Eid as a time to come together with Muslim communities and some will attend feasts and gatherings with Muslims over the holiday.