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Saudis, Most Gulf Arabs to Start Eid Festival Friday

Saudi Arabia and most Gulf Arab states have announced they will celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Friday to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Religious councils in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and other Arab states said the moon's crescent was not sighted after nightfall Wednesday, meaning there will be one more day of fasting before the holy month comes to an end.

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

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.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.