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Biggest Muslim festival today - ekantipur

Aug 20, 2012

KATHMANDU, AUG 20 - The government has declared Monday a public holiday marking Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival for Muslims across the globe. The celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr puts an end to the month-long fast of Ramadan.

The month, observed as the most rigorous period of the Islamic lunar year, is when Muslims across the globe observe Roza (fasting)—abstaining from food, water and all other physical needs from sunrise to sunset.

The Roza is compulsory for all Muslims except for children, the sick, the pregnant and the elderly. The month of Ramadan is also the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which, according to Islamic belief, is the month when The Quran, the Islamic holy book, was revealed by the Archangel Jibril to Prophet Mohammed.

As Monday marks the end of the holy Muslim month, common feasts in the name of Eid-ul-Fitr will conclude the month-long abstention. Niyaz Ahmed, principal of the Madrasa School of Islam at the Jamia mosque in the Capital, said Roza also includes refraining from evil thoughts, actions and words.

“Roza provides an opportunity to realise the pain of the poor throughout the world who are deprived of food and other physical needs,” he said. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam that all Muslims are expected to follow.

The other four pillars are Shahadat (Faith), Salat (Prayer), Zakat (Charitable Giving), and Hajj (holy pilgrimage to Makkah). “Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated to conclude the fasting with all rejoice possible,” said Ahmad.

 “Since celebrations are the holiest part of Eid, it is considered our biggest festival.” There are an estimated 2.5 million Muslims in Nepal. The government has been giving public holidays Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-Al-Adha (Bakr eid), celebrated usually in November ever since the nation was declared secular in 2008.

Source : ekantipur