News / Middle East

Muslims Mark Eid With Celebrations

Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

In the Middle East, more than 30,000 people in Syria crossed the border to exchange Eid greetings with relatives in neighboring Turkey.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei marked the occasion by criticizing Israel for what he called its "oppression" of Palestinians.  In Friday prayers in Tehran, he also accused the U.S. and other western nations of having a role in Palestinian repression.

Worshippers gathered in Saudi Arabia, where religious leaders urged followers to adhere to the teachings of Islam and stay away from all "evils."

On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama sent best wishes to Muslims worldwide.  In a written statement, he said the holiday is a time of self-reflection, focusing on values that Muslims and people of all faiths share.

Like most major Islamic events, the start of the Eid festival depends on a lunar sighting.  Muslims look for a new moon to proclaim the start of the month in Islam's lunar calendar.  

The timing of Eid can vary in different countries accordingly.

Eid al-Fitr celebrates the purification achieved by a month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam, and is marked by several days of festivities.

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