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‘Eid’l Fitr’ Festival of Breaking Fast

Manila, Philippines – Eid’l Fitr or Festival of Breaking the Fast is the Muslim holiday marking the end of holy month of Ramadan. This year, Eid’l Fitr is observed on August 20, 2012. It is a national holiday in the Philippines by virtue of Republic Act 9177, signed on July 22, 2002. During Ramadan, Muslims observe 30-day fasting from sunrise to sunset with pious and charitable activities. At the end of Ramadan, they rejoice and participate in interfaith activities, give gifts, and share food with the poor and needy.

Eid’l Fitr, also known as Hari-Raya Puasa on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time for charity, to celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of fasting and self-sacrifice. Just before the Day of Eid, each Muslim family gives a donation (sadaga al-fitr or
charity of fast-breaking) to the poor, consisting of money, clothes, or food so they can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration.

On the day of Eid, Muslims perform a ritualistic cleaning, after which they dress up in white for men and colorful dresses for women, and decorate their homes with lights. They gather early in the morning in outdoor locations to recite the Eid prayer (salaat), followed by sermon and supplication asking for peace, and blessings for countries and peoples. After the Eid prayer, Muslims visit relatives and friends, hold community gatherings, and distribute gifts and sweets, especially to children. These activities traditionally continue for three days.

Eid al-Fitr is one of the two major Islamic celebrations. The other is Eid’l Adha or Festival of the Sacrifice which occurs after the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

We greet our Muslim brothers and sisters, led by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, headed by Secretary Mehol K. Sadain, on their celebration of Eid’l Fitr or Festival of Breaking Fast to share the spirit of love, peace and brotherhood. “Eid Murbarak!” or holiday blessings! Assalamu Alaikum! (Peace in the name of God!)

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