The word “Shawwal” means uplift or breakage possible due to the fact that in pre-Islamic times the Arabs believed any marriage taking place in Shawwal would always turn out to be unsuccessful.
Shawwaal is the first of the three months of Hajj, and is also known as Ashhur al-Hajj (month of Hajj). Although the major acts of Hajj are performed in the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah, the period from the 1st of Shawwaal up to the 10th of Zul-Hijjah is held to be the time of the Hajj since it is permissible to perform some of the acts of the pilgrimage during it including tawaaf-ul-qudum followed by Sa’i, and Umrah, which if performed, can be affiliated to Hajj making it Hajj of Tamattu.
The first day of Shawwaal is marked by the festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr, a day when all sins are forgiven as a reward for fasting and prayers in the month of Ramadan. It is mandatory for the all Muslims, if they are able, to pay sadaaqa-ul-fitr to the poor so they too may enjoy the day with others and it is sunaah to pay this prior to offering the 2 rakets of Eid prayers. The salat is obligatory on every male Muslim and can be preformed any time between ishraq and zawal.
Nafi` reported on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (SAW) would order that zakat al-fitr be distributed among the poor and would say,
“Spare them (i.e., the poor) begging on this day (the day of Eid).” [Ahmad]
Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn ‘Umar said,
"The Prophet (SAW) made zakat al-fitr obligatory" and Ibn `Umar said in the end of this hadith, "People used to give zakat al-fitr (even) a day or two before the `Eid.”
This indicates that there was unanimity on the permissibility of paying zakat al-fitr one or two days before the day of Eid. Besides, paying it one or two days earlier than its due time does not contradict its aim, i.e., satisfying the need of the poor on the day of Eid, since this zakah or part thereof remains with the poor until the day of Eid.
THE SIX FASTS OF SHAWWAAL
It is sunnah to fast for six days in Shawwaal, as narrated in the following hadith by Abu Ayyub Ansaru (RA) that the Holy Prophet (SAW) has said,
“If one throughout his life keeps the fasts of Ramadan and keeps six consecutive fasts in Shawwaal it will be as though he has kept a whole life time of fasts, and if one fast for six consecutive days in Shawwaal it will be as though he has fasted all year round.” [Muslim]
This can be explained in the following manner, the one who brings a single pious deed will be rewarded for ten, the fasts of Ramadan are, therefore, equal to fasting for ten months while the six fasts of Shawwaal are equal to fasting a further two months, giving a total of twelve months or one year.
The practice of offering a sacrifice on the 15th day of this month is an innovation which has no religious significance associated with it.
Aa'ishah (RA) was born in Shawwaal, 4. years after Prophethood and 9 years before Hijri
Aa'ishah (RA) married the Holy Prophet (SAW) in Shawwaal, 10. years after Prophethood and 3 years before Hijri
The fight between Banu Qaynaqaa took place between the battle of Badr and Uhud, in Shawwaal, 2 AH
The battle of Uhud also took place in Shawwaal, 3 AH
Hussain (RA), the Holy Prophet's (SAW) grandson (son of Fatima (RA)) was born in the month of Shawwaal, 4 AH
The Holy Prophet (SAW) married Umme Salamah (RA) in Shawwaal, 4AH
Aa'ishah (RA) mother passed away in year 5 AH
The Holy Prophet's (SAW) uncle Abu Talib, departed from this world in the middle of Shawwaal in the year 5 AH
Imam Bukhari (RA) was born on a Friday of Shawwaal in the year 194 AH
Ref : http://www.ciibroadcasting.com/index.php/islam/months-in-islam