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Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], "festival of breaking of the fast"), also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, Bayram (Bajram), the Sweet Festival and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The religious Eid is a single day during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This is a day when Muslims around the world show a common goal of unity. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality. However, in most countries, it is generally celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia.
|Eid al-Fitr meal in Malaysia|
It is customary for workers in the city to return to their home town to celebrate with their families and to ask forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders. This is known in Malaysia as balik kampung (homecoming).
|Ketupat is a popular traditional celebrative dish for Eid al-Fitr meal in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Southern Thailand.|
The night before Idul Fitri is filled with the sounds of many muezzin chanting the takbir in the mosques or musallahs. In many parts Malaysia, especially in the rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (as known by Malay-Singaporeans) (oil lamps, similar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around homes. Special dishes like ketupat, rendang, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Malay also Nyonya delicacies such as various kuih-muih are served during this day. It is common to greet people with "Salam Aidilfitri" or "Selamat Hari Raya" which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "maaf zahir dan batin", which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)".
|The Baju Melayu and Baju Kurung|
It is customary for Muslim-Malaysians to wear a traditional cultural clothing on Eid al-Fitr. The Malay variant (worn in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Thailand) is known as the Baju Melayu, shirt worn with a sarong known as kain samping or songket and a headwear known as songkok. Malaysian women clothing is referred to as Baju Kurung and baju kebaya. It is a common practice however for the Malays in Singapore and Johor, Malaysia to refer to the baju kurung in reference to the type of outfit, worn by both men and women.
|Rows of Pelita (oil lamps) which is used to illuminate homes and the streets during the season. Seen here in Muar, Johor, Malaysia|
In Malaysia, especially in the major cities, people take turns to set aside a time for open house when they stay at home to receive and entertain neighbours, family and other visitors. It is common to see non-Muslims made welcome during Eid at these open houses. They also celebrate by lighting traditional bamboo cannon firecrackers known as meriam buluh, using kerosene in large hollow bamboo tubes or Chinese imported crackers. The traditional bamboo cannon, meriam bambu, and fireworks are notoriously loud and can be very dangerous to operator, bystander and even nearby buildings. These are usually bamboo tubes 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 4–7 m (13–23 ft) long, filled with either: water and several hundred grams of calcium carbide, or heated kerosene, then ignited by match. Celebrating with firecrackers in the early morning during Ramadan is now banned in many areas.
|The elders giving out "duit raya" to children|
In Malaysia, children are given token sums of money, also known as "duit raya", from their parents or elders.