Korité is celebrated by Muslims in Benin with much religious fervour and general merriment. This celebration is also known as Eid al-Fitr here and in many other parts of the world.
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The national holiday comes on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, immediately following the holy month of Ramadan and month-long period of fasting, prayer and devotion. It is one of the most important of all Muslim commemorations. On the Western Calendar, the date of Eid Al-Fitr moves forward 11 days each year.
Benin is a majority Christian nation, but around 20 to 25 percent are Muslims. They are more concentrated in the northern reaches of the country. Islam was introduced to what is now Benin hundreds of years ago by Songhai conquerors and Hausa traders.
After a devout time of sunrise-to-sunset fasting during Ramadan, Muslims essentially “party” on Korité. They have big feasts, attend special meetings in mosques, give food to the poor called “the Zakat Al-Fitr”, and may send Eid greeting cards or even go on journeys to their home towns.