2011 44¢ Eid
Issue Date: August 12, 2011
City: Columbus, Ohio
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Color: Grey, red, gold
Each year the streets of Cairo light up with thousands of Fanoos, or Ramadan lanterns. The 800-year-old tradition dates back to when the visiting head of state was greeted by people holding lanterns to celebrate his coming. Since that time, mosques and homes throughout Egypt have been lit with the brightly colored Fanoos during the time of Ramadan.
When the sun sets, fasting ends and families gather for the Iftar, the fast-breaking meal. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims practice sacrifice and self-discipline by refraining from eating and drinking during the day. It is a time to draw closer to Allah through reading the Quran and spending more time in prayer. It is believed that Allah gave the Quran to Muhammad in this month.
Eid ul-Fitr, a three-day Islamic holiday, marks the end of Ramadan. The festival starts before sunrise with a small breakfast. Everyone puts on their newest clothes, then heads to a special prayer service at the mosque or an open field. Along the way, gifts are traditionally given to the poor. At prayer, Muslims ask for Allah’s blessing, peace, and mercy. The faithful are encouraged to forgive any offenses. After the service, “Eid Mubarak! Happy Festival!” can be heard throughout the streets.