Idul Fitri is celebrated by Muslims in Timor-Leste with much religious fervour and general merriment. The national holiday comes on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, immediately following the holy month of Ramadan and month-long period of fasting, prayer and devotion. It is one of the most important of all Muslim commemorations.
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Although the majority of those living in Timor-Leste are Roman Catholic, Muslim holidays like Idul Fitri are also included on the national holiday calendar.
Throughout the month of Ramadan, local mosques in Dili and other cities of Timor-Leste will organise events. Muslims will fast during the day and then meet at night to enjoy meals together, say prayers, recite the Koran, and collect alms for the poor.
When fasting breaks each day at sunset during Ramadan, it is called “Iftar”. The end of the entire Ramadan fast is like a “big Iftar”. It is called Idul Fitri and occurs on the first day of the month of Shawwal. Idul Fitri is considered a day to feast, rejoice, and give gifts to the poor.