Muslim countries around the world, and even in Ames, cannot agree on which day to celebrate one of their holiest holidays.
Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims. It is a three-day celebration and, in Muslim countries, a national holiday. Many Muslim families will decide on their own when to celebrate Eid.
Since these events follow the Arabic lunar calendar, the date changes annually for Western calendars.
The Judicial High Court typically announce when Eid arrives depending on the moon sightings, but this year, there is a large debate between Gaza and Saudi Arabia on whether Eid will start on Tuesday or Wednesday. Due to this event, political leaders of various countries have taken either sides to announce which day they will celebrate Eid.
Countries that agree with Gaza will start to celebrate Eid on Tuesday while those who follow Saudi Arabia will observe on Wednesday.
The Darul Arqum Islamic Center located in Ames announced on its website that that it will be celebrating Tuesday with a morning prayer and providing a dinner to the community at Inis Grove Park.
Mohammed Ahmed, the treasurer for Iowa State’s Muslim Student Association, said he will be celebrating Eid on Wednesday with his family in Chicago. Ahmed said Eid is about celebrating with everyone, whether they are Muslim or not, and encourages people to ask questions.
“It’s nothing really different other than just inviting people, celebrating and get together that’s what this whole thing is about; where we take off some time and celebrate with the family and friends,” Ahmed said.
Many Muslims celebrate Eid in different ways depending on where they are from, although most families celebrate through morning prayers and spending the day visiting neighbors and relatives.
Muslims greet each other with “Eid Mubarak,” translating to “Blessed Eid” and often give their children clothes or money. Many people will often donate to those in need, while countries that have Eid as an official holiday will have their own festivities.
Eid happens twice a year. The next date is referred to as “Eid al-Adha,” which is the end of Hajj, the journey Muslims must take to the Holy City of Mecca, located in Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime.