Muslims in Britain and around the world ushered in a day of feasts and family visits for the holiday of Eid al-Fitr which began on Friday.
After the Ramadan month of fasting, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr with prayers, feasts and family visits.
The start of the holiday is traditionally based on sightings of the new crescent moon, which vary according to geographic location.
The Arab capitals of Damascus, Baghdad and Beirut were crowded with worshippers heading to mosques and cemeteries.
And while the celebration was marred with staccato blasts of gunfire amid the explosion of conflict in Sudan, in other countries it was welcomed with hopes for a better future.
PAKISTAN: Children play with toy guns during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Saturday
THAILAND: Seven women take a selfie during an Eid al-Fitr morning prayer in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday
INDIA: Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al-Fitr morning prayer at a football field in Mumbai, India, on Saturday
UNITED KINGDOM: A woman takes a selfie during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Manchester, United Kingdom, on Friday
INDONESIA: Javanese people jostle for the ‘Gunungan’, a sacrifice in the shape of a mountain, as part of Eid Al-Fitr celebrations in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday
SYRIA: People buy sweets and take a selfie at the Midan market in Damascus, Syria, ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday on Thursday
In Jerusalem, thousands of faithful gathered at Islam’s third holiest shrine, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where tensions with Israeli authorities have seethed in the past month. The compound also hosts Judaism’s holiest site.
Following holiday prayers, a clown entertained children and a woman painted the cheek of a girl with the green, red, black and white Palestinian flag. Some attendees trampled on an Israeli flag and unfurled banners in support of Palestinian militant groups.
Many Muslims visit the graves of their loved ones after the early morning prayer on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. Visitors toted bouquets of flowers, jugs of water for plants, and brooms to clean gravestones.
Atheer Mohamed in Baghdad’s Azamiya cemetery said: ‘After the Eid prayer we always visit our dead – to pray and pay our respects, may God have mercy and forgive them on this blessed day.’
JERUSALEM: Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in front of the Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) in East Jerusalem on Friday
OMAN: Muslims gather to perform the prayer of Eid al-Fitr in Wadi Al Maawil, Oman, on Saturday
NEPAL: A Muslim man gets traditional eyeliner applied to his eyes before offering special morning prayers at the Kashmiri Mosque, Kathmandu, Nepal, on Saturday
IRAN: Two women worshippers perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer in Tehran, Iran, on Saturday
MAURITANIA: A Mauritanian couple sit on a bench in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on Friday
IRAQ: Shiite Muslims gather to perform the prayer of Eid al-Fitr, at Imam Ali Holy Shrine in Najaf, Iraq, on Friday
Islam’s holidays follow a lunar calendar. But some countries rely on astronomical calculations rather than physical sightings. This frequently leads to disagreements between religious authorities in different countries – and sometimes in the same country – over the start date of Eid al-Fitr.
This year, Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries began their Eid celebrations on Friday, while Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia, among others, set the first day of the holiday for Saturday.
In Sudan, the holiday was eclipsed by a week of raging battles between the army and its rival paramilitary force, which are locked in a violent struggle to control the country. The fighting has killed hundreds of people and wounded thousands.
In a video message released early Friday, his first speech since the fighting broke out, Sudan’s top general Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan marked the somber tone of the holiday. ‘Ruin and destruction and the sound of bullets have left no place for the happiness everyone in our beloved country deserves,’ he said.
SAUDI ARABIA: Muslim worshippers pray around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque, Mecca, on Friday
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday
SOUTH AFRICA: A Muslim man carries a prayer mat as he attends the prayer on the morning of the Eid Al-Fitr celebration in Lenasia, South Africa
LIBYA: Two Muslim men greet eachother after performing the prayer of Eid al-Fitr in Tripoli, Libya, on Saturday
SUDAN: Men in religious dress and a man carrying a prayer mat gather to pray in Port Sudan, Sudan, on Friday
UNITED STATES: Two girls arrive with their mother to pray in Washinton DC, United States, on Friday
EGYPT: Two children selling sugar made ‘Ghazal Al-Banat’ after the Eid prayers in Giza, Egypt, on Friday
UNITED KINGDOM: Muslim worshippers pray in Burgess Park, southeast London, on Friday on the first day of Eid al-Fitr
ITALY: Muslims attend the final prayer of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, at the Dora Park in Turin, Italy, on Friday
NIGERIA: Muslims pray in an open ground field during the Eid al-Fitr prayers in Lagos, Nigeria, on Friday
TURKEY: Muslims perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Suleymaniye Mosque during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Istanbul on Friday