Eid Al-Fitr 2018: Celebration Marking End of Ramadan Brings Feasts, New Clothes and Gifts

Muslims around the world will celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan with a three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr. Like Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr is dependent on the sighting of the new moon, so its starting day varies each year from country to country.

This year, Eid al-Fitr will likely begin on the evening on June 14 in the United States. After a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, Muslims celebrate Eid with massive family feasts.

Yemenis buy sweets and nuts at a market in Sanaa on June 10, 2018, as Muslims prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. Mohammed HUWAIS / AFP

There are a variety of traditional foods made for Eid, with each country celebrating in its unique way. In Iraq, rosewater-scented, date-filled pastries called klaicha are popular, according to Smithsonian Magazine. A similar pastry, filled with dates or ground walnuts, is popular in Lebanon, Syria and other countries.

Sweets are an important part of Eid feasts. In Egypt, families enjoy eating kahk, a sweet cookie filled with a honey-based filling. Meanwhile, Malaysians indulge in bite-sized desserts called kuih, which are a wide variety of brightly colored snacks.

Families in Somalia will prepare a wheat and millet based dessert called cambaabur following Eid morning prayers, according to Al Jazeera.

Savory dishes are typically the main attraction for the big meal. Smithsonian Magazine noted that fish is usually the main dish in Egypt, while lamb is the go-to in Iraq, Indonesia and other nations. In Russia, where there is an estimated 25 million Muslims, feasts include manti, a dumpling filled with spiced lamb or ground beef, Al Jazeera reported.

Other delicious Eid foods include bolani, a flatbread filled with leafy greens, pumpkin, potatoes or lentils, in Afghanistan and the lapis legit, an intricate thousand layered spice cake in Indonesia. In Yemen, lunch at the home of the head of the family usually includes bint al sahn, Metro reported. The sweet cake involves folding thin layers of dough, which are topped by honey and nigella seeds.

A Palestinian family makes traditional date-filled cookies in preparation for the Eid al-Fitr holiday at their home in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on June 12, 2018. - Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Many Muslims will celebrate Eid by buying new clothing and giving gifts to children. Every able Muslim is also expected to pay a special kind of alms called Zakat al-Fitr. Islamic Relief USA states that this mandatory act of charity can be in the form of staple foods to the community, or money to purchase the needed staples.

Eid al-Fitr, not to be confused with Eid al-Adha in two months, also marks the beginning of the month of Shawal, the tenth month in the Islamic calender.