(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 8/29/11) — On Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31st, the Muslim community in Philadelphia will celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers around the region. (Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset, give charity and focus on spirituality and community.)
The prayers mark the beginning of the Eid ul-Fitr, or “feast of fast breaking” holiday, in which Muslims exchange social visits and seek to strengthen community bonds. During this holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid mubarak,” meaning “blessed Eid,” and “taqabbalallah ta’atakum,” or “may God accept your deeds.” Many communities also hold multicultural bazaars and other family activities following the prayers.
Eid ul-Fitr is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha, comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.