Wednesday is the final day of the fasting month of Ramadan in many countries.
Muslims across the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr with masks and prayers, as conflicts and coronavirus restrictions cast shadows over the festival’s mass gatherings and family reunions.
Many COVID-hit countries, including Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, imposed curbs, shut shops and even some mosques – though the numbers out praying were higher than in 2020 when lockdowns all but cancelled events.
“(We are) very lucky that we can pray together this year when we couldn’t do it last year,” said Tri Haryati Ningsih, 53, at the Dian al-Mahri mosque in the Indonesian city of Depok, south of the capital Jakarta.
“Hopefully, the coronavirus will pass quickly and we can always worship together,” she added.
In a typical year, millions would travel to their hometowns to celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan with their families, and crowd into markets and malls sharing greetings and sweets.
Many Muslims also marked Eid under the shadow of conflict.
In Gaza, the usual excitement of Eid turned to mourning for some after a heavy night of Israeli air strikes amid a fierce flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Medics on Wednesday put the death toll in the besieged enclave at 84 so far this week.
“Every year, we would dress up and make visits. This year we will not go anywhere,” said 20-year-old Basma Al-Farra in Khan Younis refugee camp.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban declared a three-day ceasefire for Eid just days after a bombing that killed 80 people, most of them schoolgirls.
Some children in Kabul enjoyed the festival at an amusement park, shrieking with delight as they rode carousels and high-flying swings.