The Major Holidays Celebrated by Muslims

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 2017 and 2018 calendar dates.)

  • 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 Qur'an 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 2017 and 2018

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

  • Isra' & Mi'raj: 
    Monday, April 24,  2017
    Friday, April 18, 2018
     
  • Ramadan:
    Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 25, 2017
    Wednesday, May 16 to Thursday, June 14, 2018
     
  • Eid al-Fitr:
    June 25, 2017
    June 15, 2018
     
  • Hajj:
    Wednesday, August 30 to Monday, Sept. 4, 2017
    Sunday, August 19 to Friday, August 24, 2018
     
  • Day of Arafat:
    Wednesday, August 30, 2017
    Monday, August 20, 2018
     
  • Eid al-Adha:
    Friday, September 1 to Tuesday, September 5, 2017
    Tuesday, October 21 to Saturday, October 25, 2018
     
  • Islamic New Year 1438 AH.
    Thursday, September 21, 2017
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018
     
  • Ashura:
    Friday, September 29, 2017
    Thursday, September 20, 2018
     
  • Mawlid an-Nabi:
    Thursday, November 30, 2017
    Tuesday, November 20, 2018