News / Middle East

    Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Fitr

    Iraqi Muslims exchange greetings after the  Eid dawn prayers outside the Abu Hanifa mosque on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 8, 2013.
    Iraqi Muslims exchange greetings after the Eid dawn prayers outside the Abu Hanifa mosque on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 8, 2013.
    VOA News
    Muslims in much of the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

    Worshippers gathered in mosques in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, to begin the celebrations Thursday.

    Celebrations are going on in much of Asia and the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites.

    Crowds of worshippers prayed and celebrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square, while Egypt's interim leaders attended prayers at a mosque in the capital.

    U.S. President Barack Obama wished Muslims a "blessed and joyful celebration," citing the traditions of Ramadan as ones that serve as a reminder to be grateful and compassionate.

    In Pakistan, however, preparations for the feast were marred by violence, with a bombing at the funeral of a murdered police officer, killing more than 30 people and injuring at least 60.

    Eid al-Fitr celebrates the purification achieved during Ramadan - a month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam.

    Eid is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and a major holiday. Because most significant Islamic events depend on a lunar sighting, the holiday's timing can vary in different countries. In Oman, officials said the Shawwal moon, which marks the start of Eid al-Fitr, had not been seen, so the feast would begin on Friday. And many Muslims in the United States will begin celebrations after sundown Thursday.

    • A boy stands as the faithful attend prayers for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Palermo, Italy, August 8, 2013. 
    • Thousands of believers take part in morning prayers to celebrate the first day of Eid-al-Fitr in Moscow, Russia, August 8, 2013. 
    • People attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Parang Kusumo beach, Indonesia, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, August 8, 2013. 
    • Children ride swings during Eid al-Fitr in the port city of Sidon, southern Lebanon, August 8, 2013.
    • Somali residents dance to traditional songs while celebrating the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, north of the capital, Mogadishu, August 8, 2013. 
    • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi hold balloons and national flags as they celebrate the first day of the Eid al-Fitr feast, Cairo, August 8, 2013.
    • Syrian disabled refugees pray during the Eid al-Fitr holiday at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, August 8, 2013.
    • Iraqi Muslims exchange greetings after the Eid dawn prayers outside the Abu Hanifa mosque in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad, August 8, 2013.
    • Syrian President Bashar Assad prays at the start of Eid al-Fitr at the Anas bin Malik Mosque, Damascus, August 8, 2013.
    • Muslim worshippers offer the Eid al-Fitr dawn prayer at Lisbon's Martim Moniz square, August 8, 2013.
    • Muslims travel on the roof of a train to head home ahead of Eid al-Fitr as others wait at a railway station in Dhaka, August 8, 2013.
    • Muslims burn incense after attending an Eid al-Fitr morning prayer session at the Niujie Mosque in Beijing, August 8, 2013.
    • Muslim youths are seen through the windows of a mosque as they perform Eid al-Fitr morning prayers, Porong, East Java, Indonesia, August 8, 2013.
    • Indonesian Muslim women walk before the Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of Ramadan, Jakarta, August 8, 2013.
    • A beautician paints henna on the foot of a woman ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, at a stall in a market in Karachi, Pakistan, August 8, 2013.
    • A woman looks at traditional dresses at a shop during Eid al-Fitr in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 8, 2013. 
    • Children buy candies as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, August 8, 2013. 
    • A youth rides a rented horse as he celebrates Eid al-Fitr in the port city of Sidon, southern Lebanon, August 8, 2013. 
    • Somali boys play football in Lido beach while celebrating the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the capital, Mogadishu, August 8, 2013. 
    • Men pray outside the Grand Mosque during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Bamako, Mali, August 8, 2013. 
    • A Malian national guardsman (L) takes up a post along a street outside the Grand Mosque before Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bamako, Mali, August 8, 2013. 
    • A Palestinian girl prays next to a grave at a cemetery in the West Bank city of Ramallah on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, August 8, 2013.

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