Emiratis place great importance on the celebration of the Eid al-Fitr. This is the festival held at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. On the evening when the end of Ramadan is proclaimed, there is an atmosphere of excitement and joy everywhere. On the next day, families rise at dawn to pray in the mosque. Children and adults wear new clothes and visit friends and to wish them a happy Eid. It is also typical on this day for Emiratis to share gifts with their poorer neighbours.

Another important festival is the twenty-seventh night of Ramadan, which is known as Lailet al-Qader and commemorates the revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Mohammed. On this and other religious occasions, rulers and their subjects attend prayers at mosques throughout the country. 

Another significant celebration in the Islamic year is Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice. The festival celebrates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to offer his son as a sacrifice to God. Eid al-Adha occurs during the month of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims who cannot make the pilgrimage celebrate with their families with the sacrifice of a goat or a sheep. The meat is distributed to the poor.
 Did you know? 
During Islamic festivals it is customary for all Arabs who hold high positions to visit the ruler and pay their respects.
The most recent addition to the Emirati festive calendar is the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the UAE. The main celebration is held on December 2, in the capital, Abu Dhabi. The day is marked by parades celebrating the achievements of the country since it was founded in 1971.

 Each of the Emirates has its own particular holidays. For example, in Abu Dhabi, Emiratis celebrate the accession of Sheikh Zayed on August 6.
 Did you know? 
Dates for Islamic festivals cannot be forecast with precision because they depend on the sighting of the moon. The Islamic year lasts 354 days, or 11 fewer days than the 365 days in the Canadian calendar.