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Festivals in Andhra Pradesh

Eid ul Fitr or the 'festival of fast breaking' is the most celebratory of all Muslim festivals. The term 'Eid' has been derived from the Arabic word 'oud', which means 'the return' and hence, signifies the return of the festival each year.

The festival is significant as much for its timing, as for its religious implications. It is celebrated after the long fasting month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar), on the first day of the Shawwal month of the Hijri year (Islamic calendar). Legend says that the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Mohammed in the last ten days of Ramadan.

Fasting is forbidden on this day, as it marks the end of the month long fast of Ramadan. One is encouraged to rise early and partake of some dates or a light, sweet snack. One should bathe, as always, but with the remembrance that this is a special day. Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothes, new if possible. There is a special Eid prayer that is performed in congregation. The prayer consists of two rak'at, followed by a khutba, or sermon.

The prayer is not obligatory, but Muslims are encouraged to take time off and attend the prayer. This gives an opportunity to join with other Muslims in the celebration. Prior to the start of the prayer, the congregation recites the following glorification: Allahu Akbarullahu Akbarullahu Akbar, La Illaha Illa; Allah, Allahu,Akbarullahu Akbar, Wa Lillah,Hilhamd. This means Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest,

there is no GOD but Allah, Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest, and to him goes all gratitude and thanks. One is encouraged to begin reciting this after Fajr prayer and until the start of the Eid prayer.

Prior to the start of the prayer, every Muslim must pay Zakatul Fitr, an alms for the month of Ramadan. This is different from the normal zakat, which is given to purify one's wealth. This zakat is normally given to local Muslim needy prior to the start of the Eid prayer. It can be given anytime during the month of Ramadan and is often given early, so the recipient can utilize it for Eid purchases.

India is the second most populous Islamic nation in the world. Muslims form India's largest minority and constitute almost 12% of the country's total population. Islam is also the most recent religion added to India's already potent cultural concoction. Islam came to India in 12th century AD and began interacting with the Indian culture, particularly under the Mughal era. Needless to say, it was a mutually enriching experience.

 A majority of Indian Muslims reside in the north, but a significant number is found all across the country. Hence, their traditions add yet another dimension to the vast cultural landscape of India.

vinayaka chavithi
Vijaya Dasami
Vara lakshmi Vratam
Maha Sivarathri
Deccan Festival
Sri Rama Navami
Krishna Ashtami
Naga Panchami