People throng the Hazratbal Shrine on Eid Milad-un-Nabi in Srinagar, on December 24, 2015.IANS File Photo

Muslims across the world are gearing up to celebrate Eid-e-Milad or Milad-Un Nabi, which is observed to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad. The day changes from country to country depending on the lunar calendar.

This year Eid-e-Milad falls on December 1, but in several parts of India, it will be observed on December 2. In Karnataka, the state government declared on Monday that Eid-e-Milad will be marked on December 2 instead of December 1. The decision was taken on the advice of the Central Moon Committee, Deccan Herald reported.

The government of Telangana also changed the date from December 1 to December 2. The state government modified the date after receiving a letter from the Telangana State Wakf Board that stated that Eid-e-Milad falls on Saturday.

Why and When is Eid-e-Milad celebrated?

Eid-e-Milad, which is commonly called as Mawlid, falls on the 12th day of the third month of the Islamic calendar called Rabi' al-aawal, according to Sunnis. However, Shias believe that the Prophet was born on the 17th day of the month.

To mark the day, Muslims offer prayers, read the Holy Quran and listen to hymns praising the Prophet. Foods and offerings are also distributed on this day.

Eid-e-Milad is observed as a national holiday in almost all Muslim countries across the world. Countries with the significant Muslim populations, like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, Germany, Canada and the United States also mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad. However, it is not celebrated in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes fellow citizens

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished citizens ahead of the Eid-e-Milad festivities.

"A few days from now, the pious occasion of Id-e-Milad-un-Nabi will be observed. Paighambar Hazrat Mohammad Sahab was born on this day. I extend my best wishes to all the countrymen and I hope this holy occasion of Eid gives us new inspiration, fresh energy and the strength to foster peace," he said, during his Mann Ki Baat address on radio.