Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim brothers and Sisters
A girl has her face decorated as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Valby, Copenhagen
Muslims around the world from London to Sanaa to Manila are celebrating Eid al Fitr. Though there are some disagreement as to the exact date of celebration because of the tradition of moon sighting to mark the new lunar month, here in the Philippines President Aquino has declared 17 July 2015 as a holiday giving way for our Muslim brothers to mark the end of the Ramadan.
A boy stands up during the Eid al-Fitr dawn prayer at Lisbon’s Martim Moniz square
Fasting in Islam is observed throughout Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The purpose of fasting amongst Muslims, meaning they are not allowed to eat and drink starting from sunrise and ending only once the sun sets, is to eliminate one’s dependence on material goods, to teach them patience, sacrifice, and humility and to sympathize to poor people who lack provisions.
To mark the end of each Ramadan, The Feast of Breaking the Fast, also known as Eid’l Fitr is celebrated. During Eid’l Fitr, every Muslim family breaks their fast on special foods, donates some to the poor to ensure that everyone can participate in the celebration, perform the Eid prayer early in the morning, and visits relatives and friends.
In predominant Muslim countries, Eid’l Fitr is normally declared a holiday, but even countries with a minority Muslim population, although not declaring it a holiday show their own observance of Eid’l Fitr, as a demonstration of their respect towards their Muslim citizens.
In the Philippines, only five to nine percent Filipinos are Muslim but despite being the minority, Malacanang, through Proclamation 1070, declared 17 July as a regular holiday.
“To promote cultural understanding and integration, the entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr; and in order to bring the religious and cultural significance of the Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, it is necessary to declare Friday, 17 July 2015, as a regular holiday throughout the country,” the proclamation stated.
Filipino Muslim family buys balloons for their kids in Luneta Park, Manila
A respite from work and school, Filipinos are given a chance to spend August 9 to enrich, understand, and appreciate the rich culture of the country, including its various religions. The Philippine government recognizes religious freedom and acknowledges that deeper understanding of other religions and cultures aside from your own promotes peace and harmony.
Proclamation 1070 is not only the declaration of a holiday but it also illustrates the country’s efforts in bridging the religious difference amongst its citizens.