Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is an Islamic celebration that falls at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. The name stems from the Arabic literally meaning "to break the fast" and so the holiday symbolizes the end of the fasting period.

Typically Muslims celebrate with a small breakfast before attending a special Eid prayer that is performed in congregation at mosques. The Eid prayer is followed by the khutbah (sermon) and then a supplication (dua') asking for forgiveness, mercy and help for all living beings across the world.  After the prayers, people also visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances to share the celebrations.

Although Eid ul-Fitr is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, since the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the date on the Gregorian (Western Solar) calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year.

Eid Celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London
Creative Commons AttributionEid Celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London - Credit: DFID