On the 17th of July, Filipino Muslims are set to celebrate Eidul Fitar 2015.
It marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer. As dictated by tradition, millions of Filipino Muslims will troop to the mosque to participate in communal prayers, listen to khutba (sermons) by the Imam, and hand out zakat (alms in the form of food) to the needy during the celebration.
The Eidul Fitar 2015 is the beginning of the month of Shawwal and is known locally as “Wakas ng Ramadan” (End of Ramadan) or “Pagtatapos ng Ayuno” (End of Fasting).
As such, Muslims are forbidden to fast during the day of celebration. Eidul Fitar/ Idul Fitri is observed as a national public holiday in the Philippines since 2002 in order to promote peace and goodwill among the minority Muslims and majority Christians in the country. To date, the Philippines is the only predominantly Christian country to observe the Eidul Fitar/ Idul Fitri as a national holiday. The government is yet to announce the national holiday celebration until the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) determines the exact date and time of the Eidul Fitar 2015 – it might fall on July 18 or 19.
The Idul Fitri had its beginnings at the time of the Prophet Muhammad in the city of Medina. It was just after the Prophet’s migration from the city of Mecca.
Upon arriving at Medina, the Prophet found the people celebrating two specific days for fun and merriment. To this Muhammad remarked, “The Almighty has fixed two days of festivity… Idul Fitri and Eid al-Adha.” Thus, began the tradition that is celebrated by Muslims all throughout the world.
Meanwhile, beginning June 15, a month before observance of Eidul Fitar 2015, the Autonomous Region in Mindanao (ARMM) is set to mount cultural performances in Cotabato City. This will be part of the program called “Discover ARMM in 100 Days Journey”.
The event is meant to highlight Bangsamoro tribal culture including Maguindanaon, Tausug, Samal, Maranao, Yakan, Iranun, and Teduray. The cultural fair will be held after the reopening of the mock cultural villages last June 10. The occasion was first opened to the public in November 2014 as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the ARMM.