6 Islamic Festivals and Holidays

The main Muslim festivals include:

  • Ramadan
  • Eid-ul-Fitr
  • Eid-ul-Adha
  • Al-Hijra
  • Mawlid un Nabi
  • Ashura

Islam is the world’s second largest religion with 1.8 billion followers around the globe.  Every nation has its own festivals and celebrations based on its history or cultural identity but being part of the Muslim faith also gives other distinct times of celebration, including Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha.  We shall look at these and others here.

Eid meal with family

You will find that in Muslim countries, some occasions are celebrated with more fervor than others and this differs between the countries.  But all recognise the following in some form

Popular Eid dishes around the world >>

What are the Islamic Holy Days and Festivals

Ramadan – Month of Fasting

Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day of this month, abstaining from food and drink during these times.  But more than just fasting, the month is a time of increased worship and deep reflection,

Eid ul-FitrFestival after Fasting 

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate a holiday which is the first day of the next month Shawwal. Families come together to share food and thank the Creator for completing an important aspect of the religion.

Eid ul-Adha –  Festival of Sacrifice

This is celebrated on the 10th of Zhul-Hijjah month during the Hajj Pilgrimage but all Muslims celebrate it around the globe.  The sacrifice refers to an animal such as a goat, sheep, cow or camel, etc in remembrance of the story of Ibrahim and his son Ismail (AS).  The meat is shared out with family, friends, and neighbours. 

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Al-Hijra – Islamic New Year

The start of the Islamic year marks the end of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAW) migration from Mecca to Medina.

Mawlid un Nabi – The Prophet’s birthday 

Not celebrated by all Muslims as they regard it as an innovation not practiced by the early Muslims, but celebrated with some fervor by others.  The focus is on the teachings and character of the Prophet with a view to incorporating them into our lives.


Ashura – 10th Muharram 

Considered important by Muslims due to a number of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) regarding this day and month.  Muslims take the opportunity to fast and spend extra wealth on their families.

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