Eid el-Fitr 2024: when is the end date of Ramadan?

EID 2024.

Eid el-Fitr 2024: when is the end date of Ramadan?

EID 2024. Eid el-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan and therefore of fasting for the Muslim community. What is its end date this year? Prayer, traditions, religious festival... Find out everything about Eid el-Fitr in our dedicated article.

Every year, the final date of Eid el-Fitr, the celebration of breaking the fast of Ramadan, is uncertain until the few days preceding the celebration. The French Muslim religious authorities in fact use the observation of the Moon as a complement to astronomical calculations to fix it (more information here). Many practicing Muslims in France celebrate Eid al-Fitr with family and friends. The “festival of breaking the fast” is in fact the second most important festival within this religion, after Eid el-Adha (the “festival of sacrifice”).

Sometimes confused by non-Muslims, "Eid ul-Fitr" and "Eid ul-Adha" are distinguished mainly by the fact that during Eid ul-Adha, or Eid el-Kebir (the "great celebration"), an animal, most often a sheep, is sacrificed. Note that Eid ul-Adha occurs approximately 70 days after Eid ul-Fitr, which therefore takes place the day after the last day of the month of Ramadan.

The Hijri calendar, a reference among Muslims, is based on the cycle of the moon and not on that of the sun like our Gregorian calendar. The appearance of the first crescent moon is therefore decisive in the transition from the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, to that of Shawwal, the tenth. For 2024, the predicted date of Eid al-Fitr based on astronomical calculations is Tuesday, April 9. Please note, this date may be shifted by one day, depending on whether the crescent moon marking the start of the month is taken into account (or not). It can therefore be postponed to April 10, 2024, this year.

Muslim fasting runs from sunrise to sunset for a whole month, that of Ramadan. Religious authorities thus follow lunar cycles to determine the start date of fasting and that of Eid el-Fitr, which ends Ramadan. To observe the moon and confirm the transition from one month to another, a "Night of Doubt" always takes place on the 29th day of the current month: if a crescent moon (which marks the start of a new cycle) is visible, then the new month begins the day after the observation, otherwise the month extends one more day. In this case, if on the evening of the 29th day of the month of Ramadan, the moon is observed, then Eid-el-Fitr is celebrated the next day, otherwise the day after.

Observation of the moon, an ancestral method in Islam for determining the start and end of Ramadan, has long been, in France, opposed to astronomical calculations, an opposition giving rise to debates between different religious bodies and even to confusion over the dates of the fasting month in the past. But in recent years, a consensus has been forming between the proponents of the scientific method and the organizers of the Night of Doubt. Thanks to astronomical measurements, the end date of Ramadan is generally communicated at the start of the fasting month, allowing believers to prepare for Eid al-Fitr in advance. The theological commission of the Grand Mosque of Paris, which meets during the Night of Doubt, only officially confirms this date, even mentioning "scientific data" in its latest announcements.

Also called “Eid el-Seghir”, “little celebration” in French, Eid el-Fitr means “breakup celebration”. A celebration of forgiveness and peace, this can last up to three days. Tradition dictates that on this occasion, the practitioner pays zakat (alms intended for the most deprived), which represents the donation of four times the contents of two combined hands of food. Six additional days of fasting can traditionally be practiced after the "festival of rupture" that is Eid el-Fitr: "the six days of Shawwal", named after the month following that of Ramadan in the "Hijri" calendar. (name of the Muslim calendar).

But be careful, the celebration of Eid el-Fitr is not “just” a way to mark the end of the fast in the month of Ramadan. It also symbolizes, for Muslim communities around the world, a great moment of sharing, peace and joy. Concretely, the festival of Eid el-Fitr is usually the occasion for gatherings at the mosque followed by large family meals, gifts, visits to loved ones, etc.

During the festivities, Muslims also exchange the wish of “Eid Mubarak”, “Happy Eid Day” in French. Finally, Eid ul-Fitr is also called “sweet festival”. She therefore gives pride of place to desserts, once the morning prayer is completed. Ftour, zlabia, gazelle horns or even chebakia, without forgetting the dates stuffed with almond paste... All these foods will be tasted for this celebration.

Before the Eid prayer, Muslims must have given Zakah al-Fitr, the alms at the end of Ramadan. This can be offered in the form of food or money for people in need. To validate the efforts made during Ramadan, each believing Muslim must pay alms to the needy, as a mark of solidarity.

“Zakat al-Fitr” allows those in need to celebrate Eid like any other Muslim, without having to go begging on that day. Recently, the representative bodies of the Muslim faith in France set the amount of this alms at 7 euros per person. The head of the family must pay it by paying it for each family member for whom he or she is responsible, including children and babies. A family of 5 people with 3 children, even young ones, must therefore pay the sum of 35 euros for the end of this Ramadan, in order to “purify” the fast.

Eid el-Fitr is above all an important day on a spiritual level. It allows us to come back and learn the lessons of this month of fasting, to take stock of the good or bad actions accomplished. Eid is notably marked by its morning prayer (Salat el aid) which is specific. According to the specialized site Al Kanz, this Eid el-Fitr prayer theoretically takes place when the sun “rises above the horizon the length of a spear” (or approximately three meters).

More concretely, the Eid prayer is inserted between two of the five daily prayers of practitioners, it takes place a few minutes after sunrise (Fajr) and ends shortly before noon (Dhuhr). This prayer is generally performed in a meeting or at the mosque. In practice, mosques themselves set the time for collective prayer.

How to wish Eid al-Fitr? What happy birthday messages should you prioritize? The specialized site Assabile.com offers different options for Muslims and non-Muslims to wish each other a happy Eid el-Fitr at the end of the holy month of fasting for the faithful. Here is a selection of these messages: