After fasting from sunrise to sunset for an entire month, the Muslim world marks Eid al-Fitr, the holiday which ends the Ramadan fast and lasts for three days.
From Romania to Sri Lanka, from Panama to Thailand – and of course in Israel
as well – Muslims around the globe hold prayers praising Allah with a variety of celebrations and sweets.
According to Islamic tradition, Eid al-Fitr is designed to express feelings of appreciation and gratitude to Allah for aiding the worshippers in fasting successfully during the Ramadan. During the holiday, it is customary to give charity to the poor (an act that also serves as atonement for sins committed during the fast), visit the sick, give presents to children and eat plenty of sweets.
Prayer in Copenhagen, Denmark (Photo: AP) Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India (Photo: AP) Face decorations in Denmark (Photo: AP) Celebrations, prayers in Nigeria's Maiduguri (Photo: AP) Sri Lanka baby wears pink (Photo: AP) Egypt marks holiday during political crisis (Photo: AP) Incense burning in honor of holiday in China (Photo: AP) Afghanistan: 14 people killed in cemetery attack during holiday (Photo: Reuters) Worshippers pray in Panama City parking lot (Photo: Reuters) Women shop for bracelets in Pakistan holiday market (Photo: Reuers) During the first day's afternoon, it is customary to have a festive family meal at the home of the mothers of the extended family.
Eid al-Fitr takes place at the beginning of the month of Shawwal, the tenth month in the Islamic calendar. Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, and not based on the sun like the Christian calendar, the beginning and the end of the holiday depend on the birth of a new moon.
Feet decorations in Pakistan's Karachi (Photo: Reuters) Syrian children celebrate amid country's civil war (Photo: Reuters) Celebrations at beach in Somalia's Mogadishu (Photo: Reuters) Worshippers in Merseille, France (Photo: Reuters) Last man standing, Palermo, Italy (Photo: Reuters) Pakistani workers on way to celebrate holiday with families (Photo: EPA) Variety of holiday sweets in London (Photo: EPA) Muslim Thai girls get pocket money for holiday (Photo: EPA) Prayer at mosque in Abu Dabi, UAE (Photo: EPA) Muslims turn basketball court to prayer area in Greece (Photo: AP)
Romanian worshipper at mass prayer in Bucharest (Photo: AFP) Tradition states that only when a new moon is seen can a new month be declared, therefore ending the Ramadan fast and marking the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations. At times, different Islamic countries spot the moon on different dates, and then while one country celebrates the end of the fast, others continue to fast and complete thirty days of fasting.
On the morning of the first day of the holiday, a special prayer is held in all mosques. In this prayer, similar to Friday prayers, worshippers must pray together as a group in a mosque and not by themselves. The prayer is about 15 minutes long, and is accompanied by Takbir chants ("Allahu Akbar").
Worshippers must eat or drink before they enter the mosque in order to emphasize the breaking of their fast. It is forbidden to fast during the holiday, and it customary to decorate the cities' streets for the holiday.
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