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Kenya's Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Fitr


In Kenya and the surrounding region, Muslims commemorated Eid al-Fitr, a day of celebration ending the month long Ramadan holiday.

Most Muslims in Kenya and other parts of East Africa started the day with thanksgiving prayers.

Omar Kazungu was one of the many faithful who attended prayers at Riruta Muslim mosque in Nairobi. He explains to VOA the meaning of the day. "It is a day to help the needy. We collect an amount of money referred to in the Qur'an as fitr. This fitr is money, food, clothing, or anything that we give to the poor so that they too can celebrate as the well-to-do families," he said.

Kazungu describes to VOA how he plans to spend the day. "It is a happy day. We have been fasting together, so it is best to be with our family, maybe visit friends together who have invited us. Most of the time it is very good to be with the family," he said.

Eid al-Fitr, which has been declared a civic holiday in Kenya, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in which Muslims do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting forms one of five pillars of the Muslim faith. It is meant to purify the faithful and bring them closer to God.

Muslims in different parts of the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr on different days, depending on the sighting of the moon in their region.