What holidays do Muslims celebrate?

Eid Celebration Marks The End Of Ramadan
Ulet Ifansasti / Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Muslims have two major religious observances each year, Ramadan and Hajj, and corresponding holidays connected with each one. All Islamic holidays are observed according to the lunar-based Islamic calendar. (See below for 2016 calendar.)

  • Ramadan - Each year, Muslims spend a month in daytime fasting, during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar called Ramadan.
  • Laylat al-Qadr - Towards the end of Ramadan, Muslims observe the "Night of Power," which is when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad.
  • Eid al-Fitr - At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate "The Festival of Fast-Breaking."
  • Hajj - Each year during the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, millions of Muslims make an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia called Hajj.
  • Day of Arafat - During one day of the Hajj, pilgrims gather at the Plain of Arafat to seek God's mercy, and Muslims elsewhere fast for the day.
  • Eid al-Adha - At the end of the annual pilgrimage, Muslims celebrate "The Festival of Sacrifice."

Other than these two major observances and their corresponding celebrations, there are no other universally-observed Islamic holidays. Some Muslims acknowledge other events from Islamic history, which are considered holidays by some but not all Muslims:

Holiday Dates for 2016

Islamic dates are based on a lunar calendar, so corresponding Gregorian dates may vary by 1-2 days from what is predicted here.

  • Isra' & Mi'raj: 4 May 2016
  • Ramadan: 6 June - 5 July 2016 
  • Eid al-Fitr: 6 July 2016
  • Hajj: 9 - 14 September 2016
  • Day of Arafat: 10 September 2016
  • Eid al-Adha: 11 September 2016
  • Islamic New Year 1438 H.: 2 October 2016
  • Ashura: 11 October 2016
  • Mawlid an-Nabi: 11 December 2016