Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Happy Eid Mubarak! Muslims Mark End Of Ramadan With Eid ul-Fitr Celebrations

Indian Muslim devotees offer prayers at Jama Masjid during the start of the Eid al-Fitr festival in New Delhi today. Muslims around the world are celebrating the festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan

Millions of Muslims across the world have been celebrating the start of the Eid al-Fitr holiday this week, which marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.
Celebrations have been taking place across the world for the three-day holiday to mark the end of Ramadan which sees observant Muslims refrain from eating or drinking anything from dawn to sunset in a show of spiritual devotion.
The festival of Eid al-Fitr - the 'breaking of the fast' - sees devout Muslims meeting to exchange gifts, enjoy food and decorate their homes in a show of thanksgiving.
While celebrations have been taking place across the world, the mood has been dark for millions of people affected by the Syrian civil war, the Gaza war and the militant advance in Iraq.

During Eid celebrations, Muslims traditionally greet each other with the greeting of Eid Mubarak, which translates roughly as 'Eid blessings'.
As well as the special prayers and celebrations, customs of Eid include dressing up in new clothes, eating special delicacies, giving presents and, for women, decoration of the hands with henna.
This year's celebrations however have been darkened across many parts of the world.

In Gaza City yesterday, streets were largely deserted, as residents huddled indoors for safety. More than 1,110 Palestinians have been killed, more than 6,500 wounded and tens of thousands displaced in the last three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to Palestinian officials. Israel has seen 53 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed.
'All we think about is to stay safe,' said Fedaa Abul Atta, a nurse and mother of six. The family was grieving the death of her nephew, killed in an airstrike. Her house among hundreds demolished by Israeli fire in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shijaiyah.
The mood was equally subdued for the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Muslims in Indonesia, across the Middle East, parts of Africa, Europe and the U.S. marked Eid on Monday. Millions in Morocco, India and most of Pakistan however were due to start to celebrate the festival today.

This is because Muslims use a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology, which can result in the fasting ending on different days.
In West Africa, Eid prayers were dedicated to the victims of two tragedies in the region - the crash of an Air Algerie plane that killed 118 people and an ongoing Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 670.
Eid celebrations were less extravagant than usual in Malaysia as it tried to come to terms with loss of two Malaysian Airlines flights.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Cabinet cancelled their celebrations to mourn for the victims.
Similarly, Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam announced that he would not be receiving guests or congratulations because of the situation in nearby Gaza. 


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