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Hundreds of Muslims are expected to gather at Green Point tonight for the sighting of the new moon to signal the end of Ramadaan and the arrival of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The sighting of the moon brings to an end a 29- to 30-day period of fasting when Muslims refrain from eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset.
It is also, according to Islamic beliefs, the month the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Mohamed about 1 400 years ago.
If the moon is not seen with the naked eye, Muslims will fast an additional day before celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the holiest days on the Islamic calendar.
The Cape Town Weather Office predicts clear skies tonight, although with some fog.
Eid-ul-Fitr can be translated, from Arabic, as the festival of breaking the fast, with Eid meaning “festivity” and Fitr meaning “to break the fast”.
It is common for Muslims to greet one another by saying “Eid Mubarak”, meaning “blessed Eid”.
In Cape Town the day is mostly spent visiting and interacting with family. Cemeteries are filled with freshly cut flowers as families visit their loved ones to pay their respects.
Another Cape Town tradition is the donation of food to the needy by several organisations, the best known of which is the Nakhlistan NPO.
Each year they cook enormous pots of food during the night before Eid, distributing it to needy communities across the province. This year, they plan to distribute 151 130-litre pots of food in 12 hours. The tradition started 28 years ago with two pots.