Muslims Around World Celebrate Eid al-Fitr – Including U.S. Soldiers

Jakarta, Indonesia.  Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Worshipers gathered in mosques in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, to begin the celebrations Thursday.

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Iraqi Muslims exchange greetings after the Eid dawn prayers outside mosque on the first day
of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in  north Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 8, 2013. Photo: VOA News.

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, also began Eid celebrations Thursday along with Muslims in Syria and Malaysia.

Crowds of worshippers prayed and celebrated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, while Egypt’s interim leaders attended prayers at a mosque in the capital.

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An Afghan child takes part in a celebration  of Eid al-Fitr in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Eid is a three-day holiday marking the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting.

U.S. President Barack Obama wished Muslims a “blessed and joyful celebration,” citing the traditions of Ramadan as ones that serve as a reminder to be grateful and compassionate.

Eid al-Fitr celebrates the purification achieved during Ramadan — a month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam.

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American Muslim Soldiers bow down in prayer during the celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr Sunday.
Eid-Al-Fitr  marks end of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims worldwide. Photo: U.S. Army.

Eid is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and a major holiday. Because most significant Islamic events depend on a lunar sighting, the festival’s timing can vary in different countries.

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