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Islamic holidays

There are two official holidays in Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha...

Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours), and Muslims may invoke zakat (charity) on the occasion which begins after the new moon sighting for the beginning of Shawal. The Eid al-Fitr celebration begins with prayers the morning of 1 Shawal, and is followed by breakfast, and often celebratory meals throughout the day.

Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah when Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place, and lasts for four days. Muslims may invoke an act of zakat and friendship by the slaughter of a sheep and distribute its meat in 3 parts: among family, friends, and the poor. Muslims are also encouraged to be especially friendly and reach out to one another during this period.

Both of the holidays occur in the lunar based Islamic calendar which is different from the solar based Gregorian calendar. The Islamic calendar is based on the synodic period of the Moon's revolution around the Earth, approximately 29​12 days. The Islamic calendar alternates months of 29 and 30 days (which begin with the new moon). Twelve of these months make up an Islamic year, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year. The Gregorian calendar is based on the orbital period of the Earth's revolution around the Sun, approximately 365 days.

Islamic Eid holidays

Religious practices


Muslims celebrate when the Quran was revealed to Muhammad by fasting from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.[1] Fasting is a purifying experience so that Muslims can gain compassion and deepen their faith in Allah.[2]

The act of fasting represents the condition experienced by the needy, who although already hungry must also fast for Ramadan. Muslims fast by denying themselves food, water and all related sexual activity with their spouses, but people with chronic diseases or unhealthy conditions such as diabetes, and children are exempt from fasting. Travelers, and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby, are exempt from fasting as well during their special situation but are required to fast later. A person's observance of fasting can be for naught if religiously forbidden acts are made, such as Ghibah (backbiting others) and deceiving others.[citation needed]




Dates of holidays and other days of note

Hijri date 1441 AH 1442 AH
Islamic New Year 1 Muḥarram 31 Aug. 2019 20 Aug. 2020
Ashura 10 Muḥarram 9 Sep. 2019 29 Aug. 2020
Arba'een[a] 20 Ṣafar[b] 19 Oct. 2019 8 Oct. 2020
Eid-e-Shuja'[c] (Eid-e-Zahra) 9 Rabī‘ al-Awwal 6 Nov. 2019 26 Oct. 2020
Mawlid an-Nabī ('Birthday of the Prophet' [Muhammad])[d] 12 Rabī‘ al-Awwal (Sunni) 9 Nov. 2019 29 Oct. 2020
17 Rabī‘ al-Awwal (Shia) 14 Nov. 2019 3 Nov. 2020
Birthday of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib[a] 13 Rajab 8 Mar. 2020 25 Feb. 2021
Laylat al-Mi'raj 27 Rajab[e] 22 Mar. 2020 11 Mar. 2021
Laylat al-Bara'at 15 Sha‘bān 8 Apr. 2020 28 Mar. 2021
Birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdī[c] 15 Sha‘bān 8 Apr. 2020 28 Mar. 2021
First day of Ramaḍān 1 Ramaḍān 24 Apr. 2020 13 Apr. 2021
Laylat al-Qadr 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, or 29 Ramaḍān[f] between
12 & 22 May 2020
1 & 11 May 2021
Chaand Raat[g] 29 or 30 Ramaḍān[h] 23 May 2020 12 May 2021
Eid al-Fitr 1 Shawwāl 24 May 2020 13 May 2021
Hajj 8–13 Dhū al-Ḥijja 29 July – 3 Aug. 2020 18–23 July 2021
Day of Arafah 9 Dhū al-Ḥijja 30 July 2020 19 July 2021
Eid al-Adha 10 Dhū al-Ḥijja 31 July 2020 20 July 2021
Eid al-Ghadeer[a] 18 Dhū al-Ḥijja 8 Aug. 2020 28 July 2021
Eid al-Mubahalah[a] 24 Dhū al-Ḥijja 14 Aug. 2020 3 Aug. 2021


  1. ^ a b c d Primarily observed by Shias.
  2. ^ Observed 40 days after Ashura.
  3. ^ a b Primarily observed by Twelver Shias.
  4. ^ Not observed by some Sunnis.
  5. ^ There is some disagreement about this date; see Isra and Mi'raj.
  6. ^ Most often observed on 23 Ramaḍān by Shias and 27 Ramaḍān by Sunnis; see Laylat al-Qadr.
  7. ^ Primarily observed in South Asia.
  8. ^ Observed on the last evening of Ramaḍān; see Chaand Raat.

Some Gregorian dates may vary slightly from those given, and may also vary by country. See Islamic calendar.


  1. ^ Reza, Aslan, (2011). No god but God : the origins and evolution of Islam (1st ed.). New York: Delacorte Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 9780385739757. OCLC 614990718.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ Molly., Aloian, (2009). Ramadan. New York: Crabtree. ISBN 0778742857. OCLC 227911610.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. ^ "Special Islamic Days". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Islamic Calendar". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 1 October 2016.

Further reading

  • Leaman, Oliver, "Festivals of Love", in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014, Vol I, pp. 197–199.

External links