Islamic holidays like Eid al-Fitr are commonly celebrated on British soil. The holiday comes on the first day of the month of Shawwal on the Muslim Calendar, and festivities last for three days. “Eid” is not an official bank holiday, but there is significant acknowledgement of the importance of this day for Muslims in society and the media.
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Eid al-Fitr is the most important date on the Islamic calendar and celebrates the successful completion of the fasting month of Ramadan, which immediately precedes it. On “Eid”, Muslims normally wake up very early, attend Eid prayer sessions, visit family and friends, call relatives living abroad, and give a charitable donation. It is a day of feasting together since the time of sunrise-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan is complete.
Children typically get a gift of some kind, while adults may simply exchange greeting cards or a verbal “Blessed Eid!” In cities like London and Birmingham, large crowds gather for prayers in the morning. And there is a big Eid Festival held at Trafalgar Square in London on the Saturday immediately following Eid al-Fitr. The festival is full of food stalls, music, kids’ games, and educational exhibits.