When Does Ramadan 2018 End? Eid al-Fitr Marks Culmination of Muslims' Fasting Month

The end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, is marked by the religious holiday of Eid a-Fitr in mid-June.

Related: Ramadan Quotes 2018: Sayings About Fasting and the Muslim Holy Month

When Eid al-Fitr takes place depends on the lunar cycle. This year, it will likely start on the evening of June 14, but the timing could change closer to the date contingent on crescent moon sightings. Some celebrations go on for as long as three days.

The date shifts annually because the Islamic calendar revolves around the moon's cycle, while the Gregorian calendar runs on the sun's cycle. What's more, Muslims disagree on whether the lunar sighting counts when seen with the human eye, or with a telescope, or using mathematical calculations.

Eid al-Fitr is Arabic for the "festival of breaking the fast," and Muslims around the world celebrate the end of the holy month. During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, intercourse and other activities that are considered worldly from sunrise to sunset, and devote themselves to religious self-reflection.

In honor of Eid al-Fitr, many Muslims buy new clothes, pray early at a mosque and exchange gifts among their family and friends.

Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday in many Muslim-majority countries.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Wednesday extended this year's Eid al-Fitr, giving government employees and military members more time. Work will resume there on June 24, according to Arab News.

#Saudi Arabia’s #King Salman extends #Eid Al-Fitr holiday break || https://t.co/cBX68PO9ud pic.twitter.com/WchyTfdStn

— Arab News (@arabnews) June 6, 2018

The most common saying is "Eid Mubarak," which means "Blessed Eid." Other popular phrases for the day are "Eid Saeed," meaning, "Happy Eid," and "Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair," which translates to "May every year find you in good health."

Eid al-Fitr also signals the beginning of the month of Shawwal, which fittingly starts with a feast. Eid al-Fitr should not be confused with the other Eid of the year, Eid al-Adha, which happens two months later and is a feast honoring the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael following Allah's command.