What is Chaand Raat?

CELEBRATIONS for the Chaand Raat holiday to mark the end of Ramadan take place on May 2, 2022.

Chaand Raat falls on a different day every year based on the sighting of the new moon.

What is Chaand Raat?

Chaand Raat, which translates to the night of the moon, is a Muslim holiday that occurs at the end of Ramadan and on the eve of Eid ul-Fitr.

The holiday kicks off the three-day Eid ul-Fitr festival that concludes Ramadan, a month-long holiday where Muslims fast from sun up to sundown.

Chaand Raat is predominantly celebrated in India but falls on a different day depending on the new moon and the type of celebrations are based on the region of the subcontinent.

On the morning of Chaand Raat, Muslims pray for peace and happiness and they are permitted to break their fast for Ramadan.

Families use the day to do their shopping for the Eid holiday, and many markets are open through the night to accommodate all shoppers.

How is Chaand Raat celebrated?

Chaand Raat concludes the Ramadan, or Ramzan, fast in which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk and focus on acts of meditation and reading the Quran.

During the fast, even water is prohibited and the process is meant to remind those practicing of people who are less fortunate than they are and will bring them closer to God.

At the end of the day on Chaand Raat, families gather in open spaces to view the new moon.

Once it's sighted, they wish each other "Chaand Raat Mubarak," which translates to "Have a blessed night of the new moon."

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When is Chaand Raat celebrated every year?

Although Chaand Raat falls in the tenth month of the Islamic calendar every year, the official date is never the same.

The date of the holiday is dependent on when the new moon appears in the sky, signifying the beginning of Shawwal – the first day of the Islamic calendar.

The last month in the Islamic calendar lasts 29 or 30 days depending on if the new moon is sighted on the 29th day of the month.

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If the new moon is sighted on the 29th day, Chaand Raat will begin that evening and if it is not sighted, the holiday will begin the following day.

It is for this reason that Chaand Raat takes place the same week throughout the world but will fall on different days.

The holiday is celebrated on May 2 in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. However, in parts of India, it won't be celebrated until May 3.

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