Muslims throughout South and Southeast Asia joined millions of followers of Islam across the globe Wednesday in ushering in Eid al-Fitr as they bade goodbye to Ramadan, the holy month during which they fasted for 30 days from before sunup to sundown.
Celebrations took place from Bangladesh to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
The Eid holiday brings families together from far and wide. Many travel great distances to be with loved ones and celebrate with special prayers, alms-giving, gifts and meals.
In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, locals have a name for the mass exodus at the end of Ramadan, “mudik.”
In Malaysia, the faithful open their homes, welcoming all regardless of religious belief. In Bukit Piatu village in Malacca state, Ramli Basir and others prepared dodol, a holiday treat made from glutinous rice flour, coconut milk and palm sugar.
“We should not forget our traditional dish. This activity is a platform to gather the young and old together. It is merrier this way. Preserve this tradition to cook the dish together as it will strengthen bond between us,” Ramli told BenarNews as he and others prepared for Eid.
Many people also purchase decorations to make their homes festive for the holiday celebration.
In Kuala Lumpur, Nur Syafiqah Mustaffa, 29, was busy with her family business’s longtime tradition of selling decorative lights.
“I hope this Eid will be full with colors of unity especially for the Malays, Chinese and Indians,” she told BenarNews. “Let’s live in peace. Respect others if we want them to respect us.”
Megh Monir in Dhaka, Jojo Rinoza and Luis Liwanag in Manila, S. Mahfuz in Kuala Lumpur, Nurdin Hasan in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and Mariyam Ahmad and Matahari Ismail, in Pattani and Narathiwat, Thailand, contributed to this report.