What is Eid Al Fitr?
Eid Al Fitr in Morocco is an important Islamic celebration for the Muslim world marking the end of the Holy month of Ramadan. It is celebrated on the first day after RAMADAN, a month of fasting, additional prayer, worship, and charity. It is also considered a national holiday where all schools and almost all businesses and administrations are closed. The other important Islamic celebration is Eid Al Adha.
When is Eid Al Fitr in Morocco?
The religious authorities announce the day of Eid Al Fitr depending on the testimony of the moon sighters and they wait until the evening before Eid to verify. If the crescent moon is not visible in the evening of the 29th day of Ramadan, they continue fasting the 30th day and the celebration will be on the day after. So, they fast 29 or 30 days depending on the moon.
Moroccan Rituals before Eid AL Fitr Day?
In Morocco and for Muslims everywhere, Eid AL Fitr and Eid Al Adha are among the most anticipated and celebrated days of the year.
Zakat Al Fitr :
Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and represents a religious obligation or tax for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. This alms, called ZAKAT LFITR, is estimated this year (2022) at 20 dirhams per person as indicated by the Superior Council Of Ulemas and people can give more than 20 dirhams if they want. It is recommended to give Zakat before the day of celebration, preferably one day or two or even three days at most. In general, the family breadwinner gives this donation to needy people, so they can celebrate without financial worries or at least feel less in need that day.
The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) emphasized the obligation of delivering zakat before the Eid prayer and doing it after the prayer becomes like a normal charity rather than zakat.
Preparation of Traditional Pastries:
During the last days of RAMADAN, Moroccan women start doing homemade pastries, cakes, and cookies and others prefer buying prepared ones from nearby pastry shops.
Buying New Traditional Clothes:
In general, last week of RAMADAN, Moroccans head to their favorite traditional clothing boutique or tailor to buy Caftan, Takchita, Djellaba with Traditional Moroccan slippers called Belgha, or any of the varied and colorful traditional Moroccan clothes. In case, it is not possible to buy new clothes, they will wear the finest outfit they already have.
Concerning children, they enjoy it when their parents take them out to buy the best “Eid clothes” they could afford to parade among their friends on the day of celebration. Some Associations or neighborhoods even collect donations to help needy families to get new clothes for their children as well.
What do Moroccans do During the Celebration?
After waking up early, people perform the first prayer of the day ” Lfajr prayer “. Then, they wear their best traditional clothes and enjoy a light breakfast before going to perform Eid prayer.
This celebration for Moroccans is a chance to be together with their families and the first things family members do to each other, neighbors and relatives are hugging each other and wishing a Blessed celebration by saying ” Mabrouk L3id, Mabrouk L3wacher or 3id Mobarak Sa3id “. Then, the answer is ” May Allah Bless you ” which is in the Moroccan dialect “Allah ybarek Fik“.
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Eid Al Fitr Prayer :
Muslims accomplish Eid Al Fitr’s prayer early in the morning of the celebration day. After wearing Moroccan traditional clothes, Moroccans of all ages across the country go out to perform this special prayer (Called Salat Al Eid and the word Salat means prayer in Arabic) in Mosques or in large open places managed by local authorities.
Afterward, the family members gather around a morning breakfast table adorned with sweets and different dishes. The Moroccan pancakes (called Baghrir) and msemmen (a flat square-shaped bread also called Rghaif) are also served for breakfast during such occasions and they put butter and melted honey on the top for a more delicious taste.
Enjoying good meals with a family:
In Moroccan culture and family life, food is very important, especially during celebrations. Families prepare a variety of typical Moroccan dishes for lunch like lamb or beef tagine with prunes, couscous, chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons, rfissa, seafood or chicken Bastilla…etc.
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Gifts for children :
Usually, older members of the Moroccan family give pocket money to children.
Visiting relatives :
In general, Moroccan families start visiting their relatives in the afternoon or evening after having the mean meal at home.