Question: What holidays do Muslims celebrate?
Answer: Muslims have two major religious observances each year, Ramadan and Hajj, and corresponding holidays connected with each one. All Islamic holidays are observed according to the lunar-based Islamic calendar.
Also see: Islamic Holiday Dates for 2014
Ramadan - Each year, Muslims spend a month in daytime fasting, during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar called Ramadan.
Laylat al-Qadr - Towards the end of Ramadan, Muslims observe the "Night of Power," which is when the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad.
Eid al-Fitr - At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate "The Festival of Fast-Breaking."
Hajj - Each year during the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, millions of Muslims make an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia called Hajj.
Day of Arafat - During one day of the Hajj, pilgrims gather at the Plain of Arafat to seek God's mercy, and Muslims elsewhere fast for the day.
- Eid al-Adha - At the end of the annual pilgrimage, Muslims celebrate "The Festival of Sacrifice."
Other than these two major observances and their corresponding celebrations, there are no other universally-observed Islamic holidays. Some Muslims acknowledge other events from Islamic history, which are considered holidays by some but not all Muslims:
- Islamic New Year: 1 Muharram
- Ashura: 10 Muharram
- Mawlid an-Nabi: 12 Rabia' Awal
- Isra' & Mi'raj: 27 Rajab