Eid al-Fitr and Commencement 2020
Eid al-Fitr, also known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Ramadan 2020 is approximated to end around May 23, projecting Eid al-Fitr to take place on Sunday, May 24, the day of Middlebury College’s Commencement.
Eid al-Fitr begins with the first sighting of the new moon, so many Muslims who observe traditional moon-sighting have to wait until the night before Eid to verify its date. If the new moon is not visible, the month lasts 30 days. However, Muslims who follow scientific lunar calculations anticipate Eid al-Fitr will take place on May 24.
As part of the College’s mission of committing to diversity and cultural sensitivity, Commencement is being changed to 2 pm. Typically, Eid prayer services are held in the morning, with varied festivities observed throughout the day depending on one’s culture. The Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life is in contact with the Islamic Society of Vermont (ISVT) in Colchester about how the larger Muslim community plans to observe the religious holiday in Vermont. We are working to provide travel arrangements to ISVT services. We are also exploring the option of hosting Eid al-Fitr services at Middlebury College before Commencement begins. Details will be updated as arrangements are made.