Muslims attend Eid prayers at the Grand Mosque of Cotabato, in the Philippines. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan. (Photo by Dante Dennis Diosina Jr. / Pacific Press)
A Malaysian Islamic authority official performs the "Rukyah Hilal Syawal," the sighting of the new moon to determine Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan. (© Mukhriz Hazim Mohammad Zabidi/Demotix/Corbis)
Hundreds of thousands of people working in Dhaka, Bangladesh leave for their home towns to celebrate Eid with their families. Because the trains are overcrowded during this time, many passengers ride on top. (© Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/NurPhoto/Corbis)
In Pakistani culture, many women gather the night before Eid, also known as "Chaand Raat" or the "Night of the Moon," and decorate their hands and feet with henna. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain / Pacific Press)
A group of Palestinian children hold balloons to celebrate the festival of Eid al-Fitr in Gaza. (© mohammed zaanoun/Demotix/Corbis)
A Syrian girl plays on a swing during the first day of Eid al-Fitr at the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan. Millions of displaced Syrians will be celebrating Eid in refugee camps. (© Mohammad Abu Ghosh/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
Hundreds of people gather at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia to perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer. After the prayers, families and community members get together to celebrate with food and gifts. (© dasril roszandi/Demotix/Corbis)
Muslims pray the morning Eid prayer outside a mosque in Moscow, Russia. (© Sergei Savostyanov/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis)
A Palestinian vendor sells sweets for customers at the main market in Gaza City. Food, especially sweets, are an integral part of Eid al-Fitr celebrations. (© Wissam Nassar/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
Wearing traditional clothes, Muslims living in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region gather at the Najiahu Mosque to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. (© CAO YI/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
A young child sits on a prayer rug as women around her perform Eid al-Fitr prayer. The holiday marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. (© Mohammad Abu Ghosh/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
A Pakistani woman tries on jewelry while shopping for the holiday of Eid al-Fitr. On this day, Muslims dress in their finest traditional clothes and jewelry. (© Umar Qayyum/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
Muslims throng to the market to buy sweets and other food items in Pulwama, India. After a month of fasting, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr with traditional foods. (© vikar syed/Demotix/Corbi)
A young child plays with balloons during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Indonesia. On this day, Muslims around the world start the day with prayer, spend time with family, offer gifts and often give to charity. (© Slamet Riyadi/ZUMA Press/Corbis)
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims wear their best clothes and many often buy new outfits in celebration of the holiday. In some countries, the festivities continue for three days. (© Junaidi/Xinhua Press/Corbis)

Photos of Muslims Celebrating Eid al-Fitr Across the Globe

Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with food, festivities, gifts and prayers

smithsonian.com

The morning after the last iftar of Ramadan is a special one. In parts of India, the aroma of freshly baked sweets mingles with the musky fragrance of burning incense. Children are up early, eager for the festivities, and of course, the gifts. Young girls wipe off their henna from the night before, hoping the intricate floral designs have stained a deep red. Families put on their best outfits and head to the mosque for Eid prayers.  

Today and this weekend, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the holiest of months for Muslims. One of the five pillars of Islam, fasting is prescribed for all Muslims, with the exception of the young and sick.  From sunrise to sunset, those fasting restrain from drinking and eating. Instead, Muslims concentrate on improving their spirituality and building their relationship with God, their families and the community.

Celebrations may differ from culture to culture, from China to America, but all Muslims start their day by heading to the mosque and afterwards, gather with family and feast on traditional foods—mensaf in Jordan, couscous in Morocco, or biryani in Pakistan. The elders may hand out money to younger kids, families exchange gifts and children run around playing games.  

In many nations, Eid celebrations continue for three days. The majority of Muslim countries have started the festivities today, although some countries, such as Morocco or Sri Lanka, will start Eid celebrations on Saturday.

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