New Delhi: As the holy month of Ramzan advances its conclusion within a couple of days, Muslims around the world and the country are preparing for celebration of Eid-al-Fitr while also trying to make best use of these last days to worship the Almighty.
While Muslims prepare for the festival, its date remains tentative and keeps on changing every year on the Gregorian calendar.
After observing dawn-to-dusk fast in the 9th month of Islamic calendar, Ramzan, Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the 10th month of Shawwal. Date for Eid-al-Fitr is ascertained a day before as per the sighting of the crescent moon. If the moon is sighted on the 29th day of Ramzan at the time of sunset, the following day is the first day of Shawwal, or Eid-al-Fitr, otherwise the festival is celebrated after the 30th day of Ramzan.
As for the date of Eid-al-Fitr on the Gregorian calendar, it changes because the Islamic calendar — known as Hijri — follows the lunar cycle. The Hijri calendar calculates the number of days the moon takes to complete each of its phases. Every lunar calendar consists of 12 months and 354 days which is 11 days less than the solar calendar.
The Hijri calendar is different from solar and lunisolar calendars in a way that it does not include leap years. In a leap year, solar calendars add an extra day while lunisolar calendars have a thirteenth month adjusting the balance number of days which is not the case with Hijri calendar. That is why while the date for Eid-al-Fitr remains the same on the Hijri calendar, which is the first day of Shawwal, it keeps changing on the Gregorian calendar shifting 10 to 11 days earlier than the previous year.
In India, Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be celebrated on either May 2 or 3 this year.