Muslims around the world celebrate Eid, ending Ramadan holy month

Wed Jul 6, 2016 5:10pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid-al-Fitr religious holiday on Wednesday, marking the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan.

Like the start of Ramadan, during which believers abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, Eid-al-Fitr depends on the sighting of the moon and its celebration varies in different countries. The day begins with early morning prayers and then family visits and feasts.

For those displaced by fighting in Syria and Iraq, this Eid was yet another festival marked away from home.

At an informal camp near Lebanon's Bekaa Valley where many Syrian refugees now live, the common sentiment among those who had fled their country was homesickness.

"When we greet each other, we wish we'd return to Syria. I hope we all go back to Syria," said 24-year old Mohammed, who fled Syria some three years ago. "This Eid comes once a year, we are happy for a day, not more."

In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad visited Homs where he joined a congregation for Eid prayers, state TV reported.

Eid was also being celebrated on Wednesday in other Middle Eastern countries as well as nations in Asia and Africa.

In Mogadishu, hundreds gathered in an open air stadium for prayers, while in Addis Ababa, men sang after attending prayers.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, thousands of people attended prayers at the grand mosque of Dian al-Mahri in West Java province.   Continued...

A boy attends Eid al-Fitr prayers with others at Jamia Masjid in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood