BRASILIA, ISLAMABAD, 8th July, 2016 (WAM) – Amid overwhelming joy and happiness, Muslims worldwide celebrated Eid Al-Fitr on the first day by offering Al Fajr prayer (dawn) and then went chanting, individually or collectively, to the mosques to perform the Eid prayer, during which they prayed to Allah Almighty to accept their fasting and deeds.

Despite different rituals, varied customs and traditions, Eid festivities remain one and the occasion has also one theme that greets Muslims each year after the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims spend the Ramadan days in fasting, offering charity and praying to Allah. Then Eid Al-Fitr comes as a prize for those who performed good deeds during the holy month of Ramadan.

Celebrations in Muslim countries range between visiting relatives and friends, or visiting parks and gardens, places of entertainment and travelling abroad to spend some time to mark the joyous Islamic occasion.

Streets, neighbourhoods and cities are adorned with beautiful bright colours to express joy and happiness. There is a smile on the faces. Despite love of Muslims for Ramadan and their grief for parting with it, it is the month of forgiveness, mercy, and emancipation. Eid is marked with various rituals from one state to another, but the joy remains one.

Given the expansion of the Islamic world, Muslims everywhere celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with each country doing so in its own way and according to the circumstances, customs and traditions. In Brazil, mosques which were adorned on the occasion in different cities, were packed with worshippers who performed Eid prayers and listened to sermons. They asked Allah for forgiveness and acceptance.

Preachers urged worshippers to collaborate and co-operate to strengthen the bonds of love and communication with each other, and care for the poor and provide support to the needy. After prayers, Muslims in the capital Brasilia and other cities, exchanged greetings on the occasion.

Muslims in Brazil have many things in common with Muslims in different parts of the world. The Eid festivities there include visits and convergence between parents, relatives and friends. Meanwhile, children wait for Eid Al-Fitr to buy new clothes, games and receive eidiya (Eid gift), which is a common trait for Muslims around the world.

On the last day of Ramadan, Brazil markets saw much activity as families and individuals were anxious to buy Eid clothes, food and sweets to mark this cherished occasion.

From far west of the world, Brazil, to Southeast Asia in Pakistan specifically, Eid Al-Fitr prayers were performed by millions of Muslims in mosques and squares. The most ceremonial feature of this feast was the exchange of greetings during the family visits and gathering of relatives and reception for guests. Meanwhile, children dressed in impeccable whites, went out with joy.

On Eid day, as is the norm in most Arab and Muslim countries, children gather to receive the eidiya from their parents and relatives, with girls adorned with henna and wearing bracelets, offering candy to guests on the occasion.

In Pakistan, the celebrations differ from the cities to the countryside, where villagers shake hands after Eid Al-Fitr prayer and exchange greetings. Children go to the square to enjoy different games. Meanwhile, hawkers go around selling food and various goods.

One of the main features of Eid Al-Fitr this year, was the tranquil manner in which the tribal population in the border region of northwest Pakistan observed Eid after returning to their homes, which they had fled during the insecurity caused by terrorism.