Islamic holidays

There are two official holidays in Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours), and Muslims usually give zakat (charity) on the occasion which begins after the new moon sighting for the beginning of the month of Shawal. The Eid al-Fitr celebration begins with prayers the morning of the 1st of Shawal, and is followed by breakfast, and often celebratory meals throuout the day. Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days, during which Muslims usually slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat in 3 parts: among family, friends, and the poor in a friendly manner. Muslims are also encouraged to be especially friendly and reach out to one another during this period.

Both of the holidays occur on dates in the Islamic calendar, which is lunar, and thus their dates in the Gregorian calendar, which is solar, change each year. The Gregorian calendar is based on the orbital period of the Earth's revolution around the Sun, approximately 36514 days, while the Islamic calendar is based on the synodic period of the Moon's revolution around the Earth, approximately 2912 days. The Islamic calendar alternates months of 29 and 30 days (which begin with the new moon). Twelve of these months constitute an Islamic year, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year.

Islamic Eid holidays

Religious practices


Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when the Quran was revealed to Muhammad.[1] Fasting is a purifying experience so that Muslims can gain compassion and deepen their faith in Allah.[2]

Although the idea of fasting is done so people feel what the poor and the hungry go through, the needy must also fast for Ramadan. Muslims fast by denying themselves food, water and all related sexual activity with their spouses, but also many things religiously forbidden but socially forgotten can void the person's fast, such as Ghibah (backbiting others) and deceiving others. However, people with chronic diseases or unhealthy conditions such as diabetes for example, and children are exempt from fasting. Travelers, and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby, are exempt from fasting as well during their special situation but are required to fast later.




Dates of holidays and other days of note

Hijri date1438 AH1439 AH1440 AH1441 AH1442 AH
Islamic New Year1 Muḥarram2 Oct. 201621 Sep. 201711 Sep. 201831 Aug. 201920 Aug. 2020
Ashura10 Muḥarram11 Oct. 201630 Sep. 201720 Sep. 20189 Sep. 201929 Aug. 2020
Arba'een[lower-alpha 1]20 or 21 Ṣafar[lower-alpha 2]20 Nov. 20169 Nov. 201730 Oct. 201819 Oct. 20198 Oct. 2020
Eid-e-Shuja'[lower-alpha 3] (Eid-e-Zahra)9 Rabī‘ al-Awwal8 Dec. 201627 Nov. 201717 Nov. 20186 Nov. 201926 Oct. 2020
Mawlid an-Nabī[lower-alpha 4]12 Rabī‘ al-Awwal (Sunni)11 Dec. 201630 Nov. 201720 Nov. 20189 Nov. 201929 Oct. 2020
17 Rabī‘ al-Awwal (Shia)16 Dec. 20165 Dec. 201725 Nov. 201814 Nov. 20193 Nov. 2020
Birthday of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib[lower-alpha 1]13 Rajab10 Apr. 201730 Mar. 201820 Mar. 20198 Mar. 202025 Feb. 2021
Laylat al-Mi'raj27 Rajab[lower-alpha 5]24 Apr. 201713 Apr. 20183 Apr. 201922 Mar. 202011 Mar. 2021
Laylat al-Bara'at15 Sha‘bān11 May 20171 May 201820 Apr. 20198 Apr. 202028 Mar. 2021
Birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdī[lower-alpha 3]15 Sha‘bān11 May 20171 May 201820 Apr. 20198 Apr. 202028 Mar. 2021
First day of Ramaḍān1 Ramaḍān27 May 201716 May 20186 May 201924 Apr. 202013 Apr. 2021
Laylat al-Qadr19, 21, 23, 25, 27, or 29 Ramaḍān[lower-alpha 6]between
14 & 24 June 2017
3 & 13 June 2018
24 May & 3 June 2019
12 & 22 May 2020
1 & 11 May 2021
Chaand Raat[lower-alpha 7]29 or 30 Ramaḍān[lower-alpha 8]24 June 201714 June 20183 June 201923 May 202012 May 2021
Eid al-Fitr1 Shawwāl25 June 201715 June 20184 June 201924 May 202013 May 2021
Hajj8–13 Dhū al-Ḥijja30 Aug. – 4 Sep. 201719–24 Aug. 20189–14 Aug. 201929 July – 3 Aug. 202018–23 July 2021
Day of Arafah9 Dhū al-Ḥijja31 Aug. 201720 Aug. 201810 Aug. 201930 July 202019 July 2021
Eid al-Adha10 Dhū al-Ḥijja1 Sep. 201721 Aug. 201811 Aug. 201931 July 202020 July 2021
Eid al-Ghadeer[lower-alpha 1]18 Dhū al-Ḥijja9 Sep. 201729 Aug. 201819 Aug. 20198 Aug. 202028 July 2021
Eid al-Mubahalah[lower-alpha 1]24 Dhū al-Ḥijja15 Sep. 20174 Sep. 201825 Aug. 201914 Aug. 20203 Aug. 2021


  1. 1 2 3 4 Primarily observed by Shias.
  2. Observed 40 days after Ashura.
  3. 1 2 Primarily observed by Twelver Shias.
  4. Not observed by some Sunnis.
  5. There is some disagreement about this date; see Isra and Mi'raj.
  6. Most often observed on 23 Ramaḍān by Shias and 27 Ramaḍān by Sunnis; see Laylat al-Qadr.
  7. Primarily observed in South Asia.
  8. Observed on the last evening of Ramaḍān; see Chaand Raat.

Some Gregorian dates may vary slightly from those given, and may also vary by country. See Islamic calendar.


  1. Reza, Aslan, (2011). No god but God : the origins and evolution of Islam (1st ed.). New York: Delacorte Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 9780385739757. OCLC 614990718.
  2. Molly., Aloian, (2009). Ramadan. New York: Crabtree. ISBN 0778742857. OCLC 227911610.
  3. "Special Islamic Days". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  4. "Islamic Calendar". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 1 October 2016.

Further reading

  • Leaman, Oliver, "Festivals of Love", in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014, Vol I, pp. 197–199.
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