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Islam / Cult and Festivals /
Id al-Fitr
Arabic: ¢īd 'al-fitr and ¢īd 'as-saghīr
Turkish: kücük-bairam

Article about the Muslim calendar.

Id al-Fitr

Central religious feast in Islam, also known as id as-saghir and in Turkey as kücük-bairam.
Id al-Fitr is celebrated on 1. Shawwal (month of the Muslim calendar) and the following days, and marks the end of sawm, the fast in the month of Ramadan.
Id al-Fitr is not really a religious feast in itself. It simply marks the end of a long period of religious prescriptions. So even if Id al-Fitr is very much a part of Islam, it is a feast in which people are allowed to relax after the more rigorous expressions of a strict fasting period in Islam. Now they are allowed to focus on the easy and festive sides of the religion, to be friendly to everyone, even enemies, give gifts to one another, especially the children, and eat good food.
But even if sawm prescribed a period of restrictions, the evenings and nights in sawm represent the same kind of festivities as found in Id al-Fitr. Actually the last nights of sawm are so much a preparation for Id al-Fitr that one could say that they are a part of it.
In modern times, giving gifts to one's children, has become the most dominant part of Id al-Fitr, and for many children from poor families, Id al-Fitr is the one time during the year when they get new clothes. The other name of Id al-Fitr, is Id as-Saghir, which originally means 'Minor feast' (compared to Id al-Kabir, the major feast). Increasingly, however, the word "small" applies to the children.

By Tore Kjeilen