"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may aquire self-restraint .
-- Qur'an 2:183
Eid ul-Fitr (often abbreviated as Eid) is celebrated on the day after the completion of a month of fasting, or Ramadan. It is one of the two Eid festivals in the Islamic year (the other being Eid ul-Adha). It's also referred to as the Little or Small Bayram, or the "Little" or "Small Feast."
Fiṭr means "to break the fast" and refers to the breaking of the fasting period of Ramadan.
In many Muslim communities, Eid ul-Fitr is marked by congregational prayers at masjids or mosques. After the prayers, worshippers greet and embrace each other in a spirit of peace, love and brotherhood.
While fasting is considered a pious act in Islam, Eid ul-Fitr is one of the times when fasting is prohibited.
A Sweet Ending to Ramadan
On Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims are allowed to resume their morning habit of eating breakfast and drinking coffee and many families celebrate the occasion with a large spread. In Saudi Arabia, breakfasts are often served with small plates and bowls full of olives, cheese, honey, jam and bread.
One famous Eid dish is "Debyaza" (apricot pudding with dried dates, dried apricot, raisins and nuts), prepared days before Eid in order for it to thicken and become sweeter.
"Shakshookah" is a Saudi version of scrambled eggs mixed with vegetables, served hot with warm pita bread.
Another popular dish is "Kebdah," made with diced fresh lamb liver cooked in vegetable oil with chopped onions, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, black pepper, Maggi cube, and chopped coriander. Islam urges Muslims to slaughter lamb or sheep at Eid to donate and distribute to poor people so they can celebrate Eid with others and eat meat.
Traditional Saudi Eid breakfasts are served on a plastic sheet placed on the floor. Plates and bowls are arranged in an appetizing presentation along with coffee and tea. After breakfast, families visit neighbors and friends to wish them a happy Eid.
Goat is a popular meat at iftar meals. Buyers are particular interested in male and female kids with all their milk teeth (i.e. not older than at 12 months). Males can be whole or castrated. Overly fat kids are discriminated against. Optimum live weight is about 60 lbs, but weaned kids from 45 - 120 lbs. are accepted by some buyers.