World News

Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Fitr

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.

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