Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by Muslims in Tanzania with much religious fervour and general merriment. 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.
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Eid al-Fitr literally means “festival of breaking of the fast”. The name stems from the fact that it is the day the long fast of Ramadan is finally broken amid jubilation and a sense of accomplishment. Keeping Ramadan is one of the “five pillars of Islam”, which are thought essential to right conduct in Islam.
In Tanzania, the celebration of Eid goes on for two days. The time off work and school gives people a chance to “renew kinship” and exchange blessings with family members, visit shopping malls and public beaches, take the kids to funfairs and other fun events, eat lots of great food at home and at restaurants, and to go on picnics in the country.