When is the Eid al-Fitr 2022 moon sighting – key date explained

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Preparations are being ramped up by those observing the Islamic month of Ramadan ahead of the start of Eid al-Fitr. The phrase references the period when Muslims celebrate the end of fasting, with festivities taking the form of large gatherings. In previous years the Covid pandemic has led to celebrations being somewhat muted but 2022 promises to see a return to better times.

When does Eid al-Fitr begin?

As is tradition, Eid al-Fitr starts the day after the crescent moon has been sighted.

Eid al-Fitr also represents the end of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Like other holy festivals, Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar as opposed to the Gregorian equivalent.

Consequently, Muslims use the monthly cycles of the Moon’s phases to determine when Ramadan begins and ends.

For 2022 Ramadan started on April 2 and the latest moon sighting calculations predict that Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated on Monday, May 2.

But, there is an outside chance the crescent moon could be sighted on Sunday, May 1.

Typically, Ramadan lasts for between 29 and 30 days each year.

When the moon is seen, it also symbolises the arrival of Shawwal, which is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.

What is Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr translates from Arabic as the “feast of breaking the fast”.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims, who can, are asked to abstain from food and drink from dawn until dusk.

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Should Eid al-Fitr fall when it’s expected to this year, those who are celebrating it in the UK will have the added bonus of it taking place on a bank holiday.

In Britain, Eid al-Fitr is not recognised as a public holiday in comparison with most other Muslim countries.

Celebrations for Eid al-Fitr usually start as soon as dawn breaks with a unique prayer, which takes place at a mosque to mark the occasion.

These will then move onto large-scale celebrations with food, prayer and stalls all present.

After Eid al-Fitr has passed, some Muslims opt to fast again for the following six days.

The practice comes from the Islamic belief that a good deed in Islam is rewarded 10 times.

As a result, fasting for 30 days during Ramadan and six days during Shawwal creates a year’s worth of goodwill.

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