Category: 

What are the Major Muslim Holidays?

The Hajj is a Muslim pilgrimage that leads to the Ka'aba in the Saudi city of Mecca.
The Muslim calendar dictates when Muslim holidays fall.
During Ramadan, meals are allowed only at night.
Dates, which are traditionally eaten to break the Ramadan fast.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
In the US, men comprise 81% of lighting strike victims.  more...

October 22 ,  1962 :  US President John F. Kennedy ordered an air and naval blockade in Cuba.  more...

Two major Muslim holidays are celebrated around the world: Ramadan, the month of fasting, and Hajj, the month designated for pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims who can afford it. Several other holidays are celebrated by most Muslims, including Eid Al-Fitr, which falls at the end of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, which occurs at the end of Hajj.

Muslim holidays are calculated according to the Muslim calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar used around the world. To add complications to the matter, Sunni and Shi'a Muslims calculate their calendars differently, so disputes have been known to occur in regards to when a holiday should actually be celebrated. In communities with a large Muslim population, Muslim holidays are often designated as general holidays, with the most dominant sect's calendar being used to determine when these holidays should occur.

The first holiday of the year is Islamic New Year, which falls on the first day of the first month. 10 days later, devout Muslims observe Ashura, a day of fasting and contemplation which is set aside to think about faith, life, and other issues. Many Muslims also celebrate Mawlid An-Nabi, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

Ad

Ramadan falls during the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the daylight hours, and often attend additional religious services. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims hold Eid Al-Fitr, the fast-breaking holiday, which is treated as a great excuse to hold big parties with lots of food, dancing, and general celebration to commemorate the end of the fasting. Some mosques also hold open mosque days around this time, to encourage curious potential converts to explore Islam during the Muslim holidays, when people are especially active.

After Hajj in the 12 month, Muslims all over celebrate Eid Al-Adha, the Day of Sacrifice, which commemorates the story of Abraham. It is traditional to slaughter a lamb or sheep on Eid Al-Adha, with people dividing the meat for themselves, family members, and the poor. People also hold parties and celebrate with meals on Eid Al-Adha.

Jumu'ah, known as Friday to English-speakers, is also a Muslim holiday. Fridays are set aside as Muslim holidays much like Saturdays in the Jewish faith and Sundays in the Christian faith. On Fridays, people attend services at the Mosque, and take time to pray and celebrate their faith. In Muslim areas of the world, Fridays are usually not treated as business days for this reason.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

alex94
Post 2

@gardenturtle -- At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate a 3-day celebration, which is Eid al-Fitr, which means the Festival of Fast-Breaking.

Eid al-Fitr is on the first day of Shawwal. Shawwal is the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is considered a time to help those in need, a time of charity, and a time to celebrate with friends and family the ending of a month of joy and blessings.

The day before Eid, each Muslim family gives a pre-determined donation to the poor. The donation is of food such as rice, dates, barley, etc. This ensures that even the needy can have a holiday meal and take part in the celebration.

GardenTurtle
Post 1

I am taking a religion course in college right now and we were all given a specific Muslim holiday to write about. Mine is Eid Al-Fitr. I have not been able to find a whole lot of information about it. Can anyone help me out?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email