The "feast of breaking the fast" is a three-day celebration for the 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe. It begins Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the country one resides in and the sighting of the moon -- the old-fashioned way of determining a new month in a lunar calendar. Many Muslims still abide by that method and view it as an Eid tradition.
For Muslims, a typical calendar doesn't serve its purpose when it comes to highlighting Islamic holidays. Muslims use a lunar calendar and determine the start of the month based on sighting the moon in the area they live. So, for traditional Muslims, (who do not choose to use an app for that), neither the start of Ramadan or Eid-al-Fitr are predictable until the night before.
Following a lunar cycle, the Islamic calendar falls back 11 days every year, causing holiday dates to vary year-to-year. This also means some Muslims may sight the moon based on their geographic location while others may not. Thus, Eid will be celebrated on different days in different parts of the world (that's what happens without apps).
Ramadan is over; it's time for Eid
Muslims have observed the month of Ramadan by giving up food and water from sunrise to sunset and maintaining additional worship during their regular daily schedule. The month is not just about the physical fasting.
For many Muslims, Ramadan is a time for self-reflection, spiritual renewal, developing discipline, focusing on actions with purpose and giving back to humanity. It is also an opportunity to connect with loved ones over dinners through breaking the fast together. By the end of the month, during Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims celebrate their patience, perseverance and hard work.
Muslims celebrate Eid-al-Fitr in different ways depending on their cultural background and traditional values. Generally, the three-day holiday begins with an early morning congregational prayer and sermon at the mosque. After that, many visit with friends and family, share gifts and attend community celebratory events.
Ramadan tragedies amid Eid preparations
Muslims have taken to social media posting their concerns after each attack in the past month, including those in Orlando, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Turkey. Some have said this Ramadan has been more difficult than usual.
"This year, it has been especially hard while watching the world around us. It just feels darker," posted Sally Ramadan on Facebook.
Maher Ahmed said he has struggled most with patience each time he has heard about a tragedy.
"Having patience in times of mind-boggling attacks against Muslims by so-called Muslims has left a hefty burden on my heart and mind. Compiled with the growing threat from domestic terrorism that is anti-Islamic bigots attacking American Muslims."
Others have expressed their concern for safety at their local mosques on Eid-al-Fitr day.
"Honestly, I am worried about Eid. My family goes to Jacksonville for Eid prayers and we have already had a bomb scare at that masjid (mosque)," Sarah Khan wrote in a Facebook post.
But some Muslims remain excited and look forward to the celebrations.
"I'm excited, although this Ramadan has had hardships, there's been a lot of reflection and opportunities to come together beyond social media bubbles. Eid is time to celebrate. Can't nobody steal my joy," Ny'imah Crystal Uqadah posted on Facebook.