Major Muslim Holidays
Two major Muslim holidays are celebrated around the world: Ramadan, the month of fasting, and Hajj, the month designated for pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims who can afford it. Several other holidays are celebrated by most Muslims, including Eid Al-Fitr, which falls at the end of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, which occurs at the end of Hajj.
Muslim holidays are calculated according to the Muslim calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar used around the world. To add complications to the matter, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims calculate their celendars differently, so disputes have been known to occur in regards to when a holiday should actually be celebrated. In communities with a large Muslim population, Muslim holidays are often designated as general holidays, with the most dominant sect’s calendar being used to determine when these holidays should occur.
The first holiday of the year is Islamic New Year, which falls on the first day of the first month. 10 days later, devout Muslims observe Ashura, a day of fasting and contemplation which is set aside to think about faith, life, and other issues.