There are two official holidays in Islam, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, which are celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Both holidays occur on dates in the lunar Islamic calendar, which is different from the solar-based Gregorian calendar, so they are observed on different Gregorian dates every year. There are a number of other days of note and festivals, some common to all Muslims, others specific to Shia Islam as a whole or branches thereof.

Both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha follow a period of 10 holy days or nights: the last 10 nights of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr), and the first 10 days of Dhu al-Hijjah (Eid al-Adha). The Night of Power, one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, is the holiest night of the year. Conversely, the Day of Arafah, the day before Eid al-Adha, is the holiest day of the Islamic year.

Additionally, Friday is considered the holiest day of the week, and in Islamic tradition, is considered a celebration in itself. Friday Prayers (Juma) are congregational prayers held in mosques, and Muslims are encouraged to wear clean and refined clothes, perfume, and bathe. It's customary to eat special meals with family on this day.


Main articles: 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 may perform acts of zakat (charity) on the occasion, which begins after the new moon is sighted for the beginning of the month of Shawwal. Celebration begins with prayers on the morning of 1 Shawwal, followed by breakfast, and often celebratory meals throughout the day.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, when the Hajj pilgrimage takes place and lasts for four days. Muslims may perform an act of zakat and friendship by slaughtering a sheep and distributing the meat to family, friends, and to the poor. Muslims are also encouraged to be especially friendly and reach out to one another during this period.[1]

Religious practices


The Fanoos, or Fanoos Ramadan, is a lantern used to light up homes, mosques, and streets, during the holy month of Ramadan

Main article: Ramadan

Muslims celebrate when the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammed by fasting from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.[2] Fasting is a purifying experience so that Muslims can gain compassion and deepen their faith in Allah.[3]

The act of fasting represents the condition experienced by the needy, who although already hungry must also fast for Ramadan. Muslims fast by denying themselves food, water and all related sexual activity with their spouses, but people with chronic diseases or unhealthy conditions such as diabetes, and children are exempt from fasting. Travelers, and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby, are exempt from fasting but are required to fast later. A person's observance of fasting can be for naught if religiously forbidden acts are made, such as Ghibah (backbiting others) and deceiving others.[citation needed]



Main article: Hajj


Main article: Umrah

Dates of holidays and other days of note

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 make up an Islamic year, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year. Some Gregorian dates may vary slightly from those given, and may also vary by country. See Islamic calendar.[4][5]

Holiday name Hijri date 1445 AH 1446 AH
Islamic New Year 1 Muḥarram 19 July 2023 7 July 2024
Ashura 10 Muḥarram 28 July 2023 17 July 2024
Arbaʽeen[a] 20 or 21 Ṣafar[b] 6 Sep. 2023 26 Aug. 2024
Eid-e-Shuja' (Eid-e-Zahra)[c] 9 Rabī‘ al-Awwal 24 Sep. 2023
Mawlid an-Nabī
('Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad)[d]
12 Rabī‘ al-Awwal 27 Sep. 2023 15 Sep. 2024
Beginning the Three Holy Months 1 Rajab 13 January 2024
Laylat al-Raghaib 2 Rajab 14 January 2024
Birthday of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib[a] 13 Rajab 25 Jan. 2024
Laylat al-Mi'raj 26 Rajab or 27 Rajab[e] 7-8 Feb. 2024
Laylat al-Bara'at 15 Sha‘bān 25 Feb. 2024
Birthday of Hujjat-Allah al-Mahdī[c] 15 Sha‘bān 25 Feb. 2024
First day of Ramaḍān 1 Ramaḍān 11 Mar. 2024
Laylat al-Qadr 21, 23, 25, 27, or 29 Ramaḍān[f] between
29 Mar. & 8 Apr. 2024
Chaand Raat[g] 29 or 30 Ramaḍān[h] 9 Apr. 2024
Eid al-Fitr 1 Shawwāl 10 Apr. 2024 9 April 2024
Hajj 8–13 Dhū al-Ḥijja 14–19 June 2024
Day of Arafah 9 Dhū al-Ḥijja 15 June 2024 15 June 2024
Eid al-Adha 10 Dhū al-Ḥijja 16 June 2024 16 June 2024
Eid al-Ghadeer[a] 18 Dhū al-Ḥijja 24 June 2024
Eid al-Mubahalah[a] 24 Dhū al-Ḥijja 30 June 2024

Notes to table

  1. ^ a b c d Primarily observed by Shias.
  2. ^ Observed 40 days after Ashura.
  3. ^ a b Primarily observed by Twelver Shias.
  4. ^ Not observed by Wahhabis, Deobandis and Ahl-i-Hadith
  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.


  1. ^ الشحيمي, محمد (2014). العيد فرحة وآداب. دبي، الامارات العربية المتحدة: دائرة الشؤون الإسلامية والعمل الخيري. ISBN 978-9948-499-99-2.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Molly., Aloian (2009). Ramadan. New York: Crabtree. ISBN 978-0778742852. OCLC 227911610.
  4. ^ "Islamic Calendar". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Special Islamic Days". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 12 September 2020.

Further reading