Ramadan Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha
What is Ramadan?
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims won't eat or drink during the hours of daylight. This is called fasting. Children are not expected to fast until they reach puberty, usually around the age of 14.
Ramadan remembers the month the Qur'an (the Muslim holy book) was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The actual night that the Qur'an was revealed is a night known as Lailut ul-Qadr ('The Night of Power').
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The exact dates of Ramadan change every year. This is because Islam uses a calendar based on the cycles of the Moon.
In 2021 in the UK, Ramadan will begin in the evening of Monday 12 April and will end on Tuesday 11 May.
Ramadan starts when the new Moon first appears in the night sky. Full moon marks the middle of Ramadan. As the moon wanes to the other side, Ramadan finishes.
How is Ramadan celebrated?
Most Muslims fast between dawn and sunset. Fasting allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith. It is thought to teach self-discipline and reminds them of the suffering of the poor. However, children, pregnant women, elderly people and those who are ill or travelling don't have to fast.
During Ramadan, it is common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.
A family share iftar. A meal that is eaten after the Sun has gone down during the month of Ramadan.
Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan. It is a time for prayer and good deeds. They will try to spend time with family and friends and help people in need.
Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur'an at least once during Ramadan.
They will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur'an is read.
The end of Ramadan is marked by a big celebration called 'Eid ul-Fitr' (the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast).
Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the strength he gave them throughout the previous month.
Mosques hold special services and a special meal is eaten during daytime (the first daytime meal for a month).
During Eid ul-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts to children and spend time with their friends and family. Muslims will also give money to charity at Eid.
Eid ul-Adha ('Festival of Sacrifice') is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar.
The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.
When is Eid ul-Adha celebrated?
Eid ul-Adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries. In 2021, Eid ul-Adha will begin on the evening of Monday 19 July and end on the evening of Friday 23 July.
What is the story of Eid ul-Adha?
Eid ul-Adha celebrates the time when Ibrahim had a dream which he believed was a message from Allah asking him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God.
The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
How is Eid celebrated?
In some countries, Muslims sacrifice a sheep or goat (in Britain the animal is killed at a slaughter house). The meat is shared equally between family, friends and the poor.
Eid usually starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers. They dress in their best clothes and thank Allah for all the blessings they have received. It is a time when they visit family and friends.
Muslims will also give money to charity so that poorer people can celebrate too.
Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Adha on the last day of the Hajj. The Hajj is pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It occurs every year and is the Fifth Pillar of Islam (and therefore very important).
All Muslims who are fit and able to travel should make the visit to Makkah at least once in their lives.
During the Hajj the pilgrims perform acts of worship and renew their faith and sense of purpose in the world.
They stand before the Ka'bah, a shrine built by Ibrahim, and praise Allah together.
Every year around 2 million Muslims from all over the world visit Makkah for Hajj.
The Ka'bah is the most important monument in Islam. Pilgrims walk around the Ka'bah seven times and many of them try to touch the Black Stone located at the corner.
Fire Safety during Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha
The risk of fire can increase during major religious festivals like Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha there may be extra risks that you should also be aware of cooking and eating are important parts of most events, so kitchen safety is particularly important during these celebrations, don’t forget to follow our fire safety advice
Cooking fires are the biggest cause of accidental house fires in the home but for those observing Ramadan, cooking for large groups, at unusual times, especially when combined with fatigue can be extra challenging.
We want to wish all members of the Muslim community well during this very important time but also want to take the opportunity to stress the need to remain vigilant to fire risks in the home during this time too, particularly when it comes to cooking in loose clothing.
This is a really important time in the Islamic calendar, we want to ensure that people stay safe from fire and take into consideration the safety and wellbeing of both themselves and other members of their family.
Eid Al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha - Fire Safety Tips
Ensure you have smoke alarms on every floor of your home - test them weekly to make sure they work.
We urge women to be extra careful that their clothing is kept well away from naked flames stay alert while cooking and make sure scarves and sleeves from hijaabs, shalwar kameez and saris are out of the way. They can easily catch fire.
Never fill more than one third of your cooking pan with oil
If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave it to cool
Never leave your cooking pans unattended with the heat switched on
If a fire does start don’t try to fight it yourself. Get out stay out, and call 999
A few fire safety essentials to keep in mind during Ramadan include:
- Cooking– Half of all house fires start in the kitchen, so take extra care when cooking, particularly with hot oil – it sets alight easily.
- Oversized pots – they can be handy when cooking for large groups of people, but using several oversized pots on a gas cooker can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Karrai dishes – avoid filling them more than 1/3 full with oil. When cooking with hot oil be vigilant. If the oil starts to smoke, do not add food. Turn the burner off and allow it to cool.
- Never throw water on a burning pan– in the event of a fire get out, stay out and call 999.
- Take extra care with clothing– make sure hijaabs, shalwar, kameez and saris are kept well away from the hob.
- Keep loose clothing tied back. Clothing ignites easier than you may realise, so ensure scarves or long sleeves are a safe distance away from the hob. You should also ensure tea towels, cloths or electrical leads are a safe distance away from hobs also.
- Have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home– test them weekly to make sure they work.
- Do you have one?
- Is it working?
- Do you know what to do if it goes off?
- Does the rest of your family or friends know what to do?
Having a working smoke alarm is a great start to being fire safety conscious in the home but it is vital everyone who is staying with you knows what to do if it goes off too.
Plan your escape route Practise your escape routes and make sure you share it, so that in the event the worst happens everyone knows what to do.