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What is Eid? Is Eid Equivalent to Christmas?

Updated on March 4, 2014


How does Eid celebrations compare to Christmas celebrations? The religions Islam and Christianity being so similar means that the celebrations are probably similar too? Why is Eid celebrated twice in one year and Christmas only once? Did you know Eid was celebrated twice a year?

Christmas is celebrated for the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th of December, but Eid is celebrated for other reasons. What is Eid celebrated for? Also what is Eid and what practices are involved in celebrating Eid by Muslims all over the world?

This is islamic information for people who would like to understand what the islamic holiday is celebrated for. Why do so many muslims take the day off from work to celebrate this muslim holiday? What is Eid? Muslim people give each other eid cards, clothes and gifts in this special Eid festival. Let's find out what Eid is.

Eid Card

Eid Celebrations

What is Eid?

Eid is an Islamic name meaning ‘Festival’ or ‘Celebration’, and is celebrated throughout the world by all Muslims. It is equivalent to Christians celebrating Christmas.

There are two Eids celebrated every year, one is called Eid Ul Fitr and the other called Eid Ul Adha. The main difference being, the first is celebrated after the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting, and the other is celebrated about two and a half months from the end of Ramadan, which is the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, and is a festival of sacrifice and pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia.

After fasting for one month, Muslims across the world wait for the sighting of the moon, which is a sign of the end of Ramadan, and from next morning is the start of the celebrations which goes on for three days. Some people celebrate Eid on different days and up to three days.

Eid is such a celebration that it brings families and friends closer and people make stronger ties with each other. Everyone invites one another to their homes for snacks and savouries and then they go to someone elses house to do the same.

Eid Mubarak - Nasheed

Eid Ul Fitr

Eid Ul Fitr

Through the month of Ramadan, Satan is tied up and the gates of Hell are closed, and the gates of Heaven are opened. Every soul is set free from Hell for this special month. This is why most people are better behaved towards family, friends and neighbours, and try their best not to become involved in sinning. When Ramadan is coming to a close, especially when it gets to the 28th day, everyone start talking about when and if the moon will be sighted on the 29th day or the 30th. This means that sometimes 29 fasts are made, and in other years 30 fasts are made, although on both of these days, Ramadan is completed.

As soon as the moon is sighted, in different parts of the world, the celebrations start with people buying new clothes (a few days or weeks before), gifts and treating one another with their hospitality and food. After the Mosque prayer in early morning, all men hug each other three times then go home or to other family members’ homes to wish them ‘Eid Mubarak’. Eid Ul Fitr is also an expression of a person to show his happiness upon his achievements in Ramadan in praying and striving for forgiveness, Mercy and protection from the fire of hell from Allah. This Eid is also to thank Allah (God) for all the things people have in their lives. It is hoped to continue the good deeds and a continuation of good character and offering prayers to Allah, and to live a better life.

One of the most important things that take place in either Eids, and everyone continues to do so, is visit the sick and offering prayers for the deceased and visit graveyards. Another important part of celebrating Eid is paying ‘Zakat’ (Islamic religious tax, which is given to purify one’s wealth), which is paid before, or in the morning before the prayer to the poor. Zakat is usually 2.5% of ones wealth and on the amount of gold in posession within a 12 month period.

Islam is such a perfect religion that wealth is shared with the poor from the zakat that is paid from people who are able to pay it to the poor and needy.

Beautiful sacrificial animals of Eid

Eid celebrations
Eid celebrations
Eid prayer
Eid prayer

Eid Ul Adha

Eid U Adha

Eid Ud Adha falls in the month of Dhu Al Hijjah which is the month for the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and takes place every year.

Eid Ul Adha means ‘The festival Of Sacrifice’, which entails sacrificing an animal, such as a chicken, goat, sheep, cow or camel, whichever is affordable within one’s means to give to the poor, (one third) to eat. The other third is given to family and friends, and the last is to be eaten by the person and his family who gave the animal for sacrifice. The annual pilgrimage to Hajj in Mecca and Medina is ended by sacrificing an animal they can afford with their wealth, to commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham.

The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

Abraham had to sacrifice one of his sons for the sake of Allah, when he was being tested, and he obeyed, but when Abraham went to cut his sons throat, it would not cut, even with the sharpest of knives which would cut through anything placed in front of it. This happened because Allah had already accepted Abraham’s sacrifice and intention to sacrifice, which then led to him sacrificing a lamb.

The verse below from the Qur’an is a truth which people in previous generations misunderstood. They thought the animals blood or meat atoned for their sins, when in actual fact, it is the piety that pleased Allah.

"It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)

As the first Eid, muslims have to pay Zakat, but this time depending on their wealth and assets. This zakat is then given out to the poor as clothes or money.

This Eid day is also celebrated as Eid Ul Fitr with people visiting family and friends, buying gifts, eating and enjoying food and socialising with extended families.

I hope you have a better understanding of what Eid is after reading this article on What Is Eid?

Please forward and share with your family and friends so they can learn about What Is Eid?

If you celebrate Christmas, then i hope you can see the simliarities between Christmas and Eid.

Whatever you celebrate,, have a good one!

A colourful Eid


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    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      2 years ago from Egypt

      Excellent article, nice photos, interesting to read, thank you.

    • Faiz Israili profile image

      Faiz Israili 

      3 years ago

      Great Post!

      I'm so pleasure to read it, it's really refreshing article.

      Kindly add me post as related articles : it's about Eid Mubarak Wishes :)

      Link :

    • mk-globetrotter profile image

      Mustafa Khursheed 

      4 years ago

      Nice Hub! Eid is celebrated with a lot of pomp here in Pakistan as well!

    • G Miah profile imageAUTHOR

      Gous Ahmed 

      5 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Thank you both for reading!

    • profile image

      Nida Ilyas 

      5 years ago

      Thank you very much for such a great knowledge

    • profile image

      robby 179 

      6 years ago

      great i learn lots about eid

    • G Miah profile imageAUTHOR

      Gous Ahmed 

      6 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Thank you for clarifying Noor

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Eid is when is not really equivalent to Christmas because on Eid you wake up in the morning, eat something sweet then go to the mosque and pray. After prayer you get with your family and friends and go out some where to celebrate it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Eid ul atha is the celebration of prophet ebrahim sacrifice who were about to sacrifice his son prophet esmail. That's why Moslem celebrate the day.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This helped a lot I'm in 6th grade and we have a computer project to do. Thank you so much :)

    • howtoguides2learn profile image

      Vidhya L 

      7 years ago from Chennai, India

      Good hub! Learned a lot about Eid.

    • reagu profile image


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great hub. I always enjoy reading about other cultures.

    • derek gulbranson profile image

      derek gulbranson 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub. I've been studying Arabic for many years and just wanted to point out that "eid" is actually just the Arabic word for "holiday." What comes after "eid" are the adjectives that tell you what holiday. For example, the letters FTR in Arabic are used to form words that deal with "fasting", so Eid Al Fitr is the "holiday of the fast" that comes after the end of the days of fasting for Ramadan. So just as we have many holidays there are also many "eids" in the Arab world. Christmas, the same Christian holiday that we celebrate, is called Eid Al Milad, or holiday of "The Birth."

      Also worth pointing out that the word "eid" is not itself Islamic or in any way religious, no more than our word for "holiday" is Christian.

    • profile image

      Ralf Higham 

      8 years ago

      This is great information. Just what i needed to know as i have a Muslim friend who will celebrate Eid soon. I didn't want to qask him about Eid in every detail, although i had some knowledge of it from him. Now from reading your excellent article, i know more than i would have needed to know.

      Thank you.

    • Bbudoyono profile image


      8 years ago

      Assalamualaikum. Good hub. In Indonesia we are preparing for Eid ul Adha.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting. I had thought Eid was more akin to the celebration of Easter after the Christian Lent, rather than Christmas. I knee nothing about "the other" Eid though. Thanks for posting this.

    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 

      8 years ago

      Hi G, nice hub - Eid Mubaruk hope you had a good Eid

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I would say thanks for this Hub, it is a perfect Hub on eid. Voted up

    • bloggering profile image


      8 years ago from Southern California

      Fascinating hub! I'd heard of Eid, but didn't really know what it was about.

    • G Miah profile imageAUTHOR

      Gous Ahmed 

      10 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Many people keep asking me about Eid, even now my colleagues ask every time the subject comes up at work. I guess i have to print this out in A2 size and stick on the wall!

    • G Miah profile imageAUTHOR

      Gous Ahmed 

      10 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Thanks Nia L, i'm hoping to let people know just the overview of Eid so they know why and how it is celebrated.

    • profile image

      Nia L 

      10 years ago

      Nice hub!

    • G Miah profile imageAUTHOR

      Gous Ahmed 

      10 years ago from Muslim Nation

      I personally think it is going that way, towards commercialisation.

    • profile image

      R. Ashcroft 

      10 years ago

      You have written an excellent hub, i really enjoyed reading it, and now i can understand more about Eid celebrations. Nice one, keep it up.

    • profile image

      Adam L. 

      10 years ago

      Just wondering wether Eid is as commercialised as Christmas is?

    • profile image

      E. Philips 

      10 years ago

      Love the imagination used to describe the bit about Satan getting tied up, and the gates closing and openin!

    • profile image

      Adam Jones 

      10 years ago

      Very informative, and now i can understand more about Eid, because i have colleagues who are muslim, and they celebrate it, but i never had the courage to question them about it, thinking i might offend them if i make a mistake.


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