Idul-Fitr, of late known by the misnomer
'Ramadan' is one of the two festivals of Islam. Ramadan is the ninth
month of the lunar year.
During this month the Muslims observe fast,
giving up all kinds of food and drink during day time, and spend
the major part of the night in devotion and prayer. Purification
of the body and soul is the main aim of this observance.
When the crescent appears on the western horizon heralding the end
of the month of fasting, it marks the beginning of the Idul-Fitr
festival. Because this festival is connected with the month of Ramadan,
it came to be known as 'Ramadan'. The Idul-Fitr festival starts
with the commencement of the first day of the month of 'Shawwal'.
The first item of the celebration is distribution
of food materials to the poor and the deserving. Any person who
holds food in excess of the day's need must necessarily make his
contribution in accordance with the scales prescribed by Islam.
Muslims all over the world celebrate this festival with great éclat
and in gratitude to God.
In the morning men, women and children cleanse
their bodies, put on the best attire and proceed to the mosque or
the Id-Gah. The assembled Muslims gathering then offers the congregational
prayer led by the Imam. After the prayers the Imam delivers the
sermon pointing out the extreme importance of the occasion. Returning
home after the ceremonial functions, they visit friends and relatives.
Some make it a point to visit the graves of close relatives, on
In certain parts of Kerala, for instance
Chavakkad, Muslim women, dressed in their best clothes and wearing
jewelery, celebrate this occasion by paying visits to neighbors
and engaging in entertainments. The women org anise themselves into
groups and spend the time in singing and dancing.
Recently in certain parts of Kerala new
practices is connection with the celebration of this festival have
been introduced. One of the novel features of the Id celebration
is to invite members of the sister communities to participate in