By NJ Correspondent:
Kenyans will officially mark this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr on Monday, June 26, 2017 after the government gazetted the day as a public holiday to mark the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
The gazette notice dated June 20, 2017 follows notification and a request by the Chief Kadhi Sheikh Al-Muhdhar Hussein.
“The holy month of Ramadhan commenced on 27th May and is expected to end 25th June 2017, therefore Eid-ul-Fitr public holiday will fall on Monday June 26th 2017” wrote the Chief Kadhi in the letter dated June 5, 2017 to the head of public service Joseph Kinyua.
Because the timing of Eid al-Fitr is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, it can be difficult to predict when the festival will take place.
But when the new moon appears, the Islamic community break into colourful celebrations, throwing food festivals and spending time with friends and family.
The arabic name Eid al-Fitr translates to ‘festival of the breaking of the fast’ in English.
It marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and marks the month in which the Quran was first revealed.
Muslims spend the month fasting from dawn until sunset.
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather at mosques in the morning to perform the Eid prayer, before holding family gatherings and visiting friends.
Muslims share feasts and sweets to mark the end of the fasting period, and greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak” – which roughly translates as “happy Eid” or “blessed Eid.”
Many Muslims display this thanksgiving by giving donations and food to those less fortunate than themselves.