When will Eid-ul-Fitr 2021 be celebrated in India? Know all about chaand raat
Rattled by a second wave of coronavirus but keeping gloom at bay with a heightened sense of spirituality and prayers, India prepares for Eid-ul-Fitr like the rest of world and the cheer and happiness around the Muslim festival is contagious. The ninth month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar is Ramadan and the tenth is Shawwal whose first day is marked as Eid-ul-Fitr across the world.
While the West culturally follows the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic calendar is lunar which means it is based on the sighting of the crescent moon. Every year, Eid-ul-Fitr occurs approximately 10-11 days earlier depending on when the crescent moon is sighted since lunar months are shorter than solar months and so it varies from country to country by about a day.
Ahead of Eid this year, as coronavirus cases explode with a triple mutant in India, several Muslim sects have issued guidelines for the special congregational prayers to be in lieu with the Covid-19 protocols. While Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi 'naib mohtamim' of the Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa saying that offering 'Namaz e Chasht' is better keeping the current pandemic state of affairs, Islamic seminary Jamia Nizamia also issued a fatwa earlier stating that Eid prayers with Covid-19 guidelines can be offered in any clean open space, function halls and schools while All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) asserted the importance of wearing of a face mask and social distancing among two worshippers and avoiding big gatherings on occasion of Eid prayers.
With various norms in place, Indian Muslims gear up to sight the crescent moon on Wednesday i.e. May 12, after breaking the Ramadan fast at maghrib or evening payers. If the crescent moon is sighted, chaand raat will be on Wednesday which marks the onset of the Islamic month of Shawwal and the day of Eid-ul-Fitr the next day i.e. May 13, 2021.
Otherwise, Muslims in India will continue to fast on Thursday and Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Friday i.e. May 14, 2021. The buzz of chaand raat is however, unmissable in the air as this is the time of celebration when families and friends gather on the terrace of their homes or courtyards or parks or any open places at the end of the last day of Ramadan to spot the crescent moon.
Chaand raat is a witness to cauldrons of desserts being cooked, houses whitewashed and lit, streets decorated and women applying mehndi or henna designs on their hands, all in preparation of Eid the next day. Unlike previous years when bangles shops and other stores remained open till late at the night, this year the celebrations and market festivities have been dampened by the ongoing coronavirus which has already taken over 2.5 lakh lives in the country.
Here’s wishing everyone a peaceful and healthy chaand raat tonight!