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Asian Muslims Mark Eid Holiday With Food, Prayers and Family

BenarNews Staff
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Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET on 2016-07-07

Muslims throughout South and Southeast Asia joined millions of others worldwide to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the religious holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The holiday was not free from violence. Four people, including two policemen died in an attack in Bangladesh on Thursday, as that country was observing the Eid holiday.

The attack followed Ramadan-time attacks in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia, which were linked to the extremist group Islamic State, as well as deadly violence in southern Thailand within the past month that caused many to take a more somber approach to their Eid celebrations.

Eid brings families together after a month of dawn-to-sunset fasting. Many people travel great distances to be with loved ones and celebrate with special prayers, alms-giving, gifts and meals.

In Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population, locals have a name for the mass exodus, “mudik.” As many as 20 million traveled in preparation for the holiday.

In Malaysia, the faithful opened their homes for the traditional “rumah terbuka,” welcoming all regardless of religious belief and serving a variety of special dishes.

In Thailand, vendors in the predominantly Muslim Deep South region said that people spent less than usual this year in the days leading up to Eid. But on Wednesday, many Muslims opened their homes to families and guests and others offered alms to the poor as they began their celebrations.

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