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How to celebrate Eid in the UK as Boris confirms restrictions won’t be lifted until May 17

Ramadan: People gather for prayers in Afghanistan

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today confirmed restrictions will lift on May 17 on social gatherings, meeting indoors and social contact. However, this date is after the Muslim festival of Eid al Fitr, meaning celebrations for this religious holiday will face restrictions for another year.

The Prime Minister thanked the public for the sacrifices made during lockdown as he announced step three of the road map could go ahead in England from May 17 as planned, saying: “Your efforts have so visibly paid off.”

Speaking from Downing Street Mr Johnson said: “I want to thank you particularly because your efforts have so visibly paid off, giving us the time to vaccinate more than two-thirds of all adults across the UK, with more than one third – nearly 18 million people – also receiving their second dose and thereby unquestionably saving many lives.

“And so it’s precisely because of your efforts that I can confirm today that we’ve met our four tests for further easing the lockdown in England.”

From May 17, Britons can meet indoors with up to six people or two households, pubs and restaurants can serve customers indoors and social contact, like hugs, is permitted.

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So how can you celebrate Eid with the current restrictions?

Eid al Fitr is due to take place over Wednesday, May 12 and Thursday, May 13.

This is unfortunately before the restrictions lift, meaning families cannot meet indoors and there are limits on numbers meeting outdoors.

Due to this, the Muslim Council of Britain has issued advice for Eid 2021.

Their advice includes:

  • Avoid large gatherings and stick to government guidelines where you’re located – (this means only two households or groups of six meeting outdoors and no socialising in one another’s home)
  • Eid in outdoor parks should be arranged in advance if choosing to do one
  • Pre-register for any indoor mosque visits to avoid overcrowding
  • Give your Zakat al Fitr (a charitable donation given at the end of Ramadan) online

Virtual celebrations with friends and family are encouraged this year, with large gatherings not permitted under coronavirus rules.

Sharing meals over a video call, sending presents online and making sure to social distance are among the best ways to keep safe this Eid.

Some mosques may offer online prayer services to mark the end of Ramadan, with limits on who can attend in person.

How is Eid al Fitr celebrated?

Eid al Fitr marks the end of the month of fasting Ramadan brings, with Muslims fasting from dawn to sunset throughout Ramadan.

Prayers are said, presents given and feast meals enjoyed to celebrate Eid al Fitr each year.

Often Eid al Fitr is associated with sweet treats, with a large part of feasts involving dessert dishes.

Greetings are swapped with one another, including Eid Mubarak – which means blessed Eid and Eid sa’id which translates to happy Eid.

You can read more on the best greetings this Eid here.

Often Eid also involves donating to charity, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Zakat al-Fitr takes place at the end of Ramadan and is encouraged to take place online this year due to the pandemic.

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