Monday, 29 September 2008

SHANA TOVA AND EID MUBARAK

SAbookworm would like to wish its Jewish readers Shana Tova and well over the fast, and its Muslim readers Eid Mubarak.

Rosh Hashanah begins tonight at sundown and lasts for two days until sundown on Wednesday. This is the Jewish New Year, the symbolic anniversary of the creation of the world.
It is also a time of self-examination, and an opportunity to resolve to improve on past mistakes in the upcoming year. It is both a solemn and festive occasion, a feast preceded by prayer and contemplation. The greeting "Shana Tova" means "Good Year", and the occasion is celebrated by loud blasts on a shofar (ram's horn) during services in the synagogue.

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. This year, Eid falls on 30 September, and it is typically celebrated by attending the Eid prayer in a mosque or open field.
Before this, every Muslim who is able to do so must pay Zakat al-fitr, alms that are distributed to needy local Muslims prior to the start of the Eid prayer. It can be given at any time during the month of Ramadan, and is often given early so that recipients can use it for purchases to celebrate the occasion.

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