Eid moon sighting is a traditional practice among Muslims where they observe the crescent or new moon to determine the start of the tenth Islamic month of Shawwal, which marks the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan and the beginning of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival. The sighting of the new moon is usually done with the naked eye or using telescopes and once confirmed, the news is broadcasted through media outlets, mosques, and community organizations. It is important to note that the exact method of determining the start of the month of Shawwal may vary between different Muslim communities and countries.
The festival of Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shawwal, which marks the end of Ramadan. This festival is also known as the festival of breaking the fast, as Shawwal translates to that. Muslims around the world gear up to sight the crescent moon on the night before Eid-ul-Fitr to welcome the month of Shawwal and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar followed in the West, the Islamic calendar is lunar, which means it is based on the sighting of the crescent moon. This results in Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr occurring approximately 10-11 days earlier each year, depending on when the crescent moon is sighted. As the lunar months are shorter than solar months, the exact timing of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr may vary from country to country by about a day.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset for four weeks and two days, which amounts to 720 hours. They pray, give back to the community through acts of charity or humanitarian activities, and reflect on their spiritual growth. The end of Ramadan is marked by intense prayers during the Laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power, which is believed to be the holiest night of the year. It usually falls on the 27th day of Ramadan and is a commemoration of the night when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.