Eid-al-Firt is in less than a week. Many Muslims will be celebrating the end of Ramadan with celebrations lasting 2-3 days.
Events such as Eid-al-Firt and Ramadan follow the Islamic calender. It is common knowledge that Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims across the globe, but what many do not realise is that it is the name of the actual month!
So not only does Eid-al-Fitr signify the end of fasting, but it also signifies the end of the month and the beginning of a new one, Shawaal. Both the beginning and ending of a month within the Islamic calender is dependent on the lunar cycle. (This is why you might see Muslims only find out when Ramadan/Eid is the night before it begins).
Different cultures and places will have different types of celebrations such as hand Henna, traditional clothing, hair braiding, a feast of food and spending time with friends and family.
The day will usually begin with Eid prayer in the morning (around 8am) and this is a community based prayer. Sometimes it is held within the local mosque or if the weather is nice, it will be held at the local park. There may also be food, picnics and games for a couple of hours after the prayer!
Lunar cycle dependent, this Eid-al-Fitr may fall on a Bank Holiday which is quite handy for many Muslims as unfortunately, not everyone is able to take time off work or school.
This is an issue which arises for many other ethnic/religious celebrations and one which I have also encountered when trying to book time off for Eid in the past.
Some top tips to prepare your workplace:
• Speak directly to your manager about Eid if possible around 4 weeks before it begins. This will give your manager direct knowledge and awareness of the situation.
• Many workplaces require a 2-4 weeks notice when booking time off. If you cannot speak to your manager beforehand, ensure to book time off at least 4 weeks in advance.
• As the actual day of Eid is unknown until the day before, roughly work out the days which Eid might be. And from there, book atleast 2 days off if possible to ensure you will get Eid day off.
• If you cannot take the day off work due to being short staffed, suggest to swap your working day with someone else.
These tips are broad and will mainly depend on your workplace and manager so ensure to speak to them!
Working at our own pace and being flexible in our studies comes in handy at the OU for times such as Eid. But if you have an assignment due on Eid day (or around that time) do not hesitate to ask for an extention!
You deserve this time to relax and spend with your loved ones. Your tutor will understand.
I hope those who celebrate have a wonderful Eid
Photo by: Benjamin Voros