Eid in the Middle East

Last week, the global Muslim population celebrated the end of Ramadan, having looked forward to the end of the fasting month, when Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated. This annual and widely-anticipated event marks the end of the abstaining period and is celebrated differently all over the world. Of course, the motions of early morning Eid prayers, donning your best clothes, gathering with family and indulging in feasts are all the same, but each country has its own cultural elements added into the mix.

The night before Eid, in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, men prepare to sight the moon to see if the fasting month has ended. If there is a new moon, then Saudi and the rest of the world will prepare for Eid-al-Fitr

Below is an insight as to how different people celebrate Eid throughout the Middle East.

When the new moon is sighted, Eid can begin. Photo © Jim Hankey

In Baghdad, Iraq, the day begins with the morning Eid prayer. Muslims gather together to pray at the site of a bomb attack.

Iraq Eid prayer, photo via aljazeera.com

Amidst air strikes, worshippers gather at mosques along the Gaza strip.

Photo via deccanchronicle.com

In Pakistan, men prepare to give out balloons to young children following prayers.

Photo via aljazeera.com

Jordan also maintains this tradition, as children play with balloons on the streets of Amman.

Photo via REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

In war-torn Syria, children enjoy a makeshift playground set up by adults for the occasion.

Photo via bbc.co.uk

A surviving tradition that’s centuries old is still celebrated in the Gulf. Believed to have begun in Egypt, UAE police forces fire five cannons on Eid day.

Photo via uaeinteract.com

In Qatar, there is a huge celebratory fireworks display for the locals to enjoy.

Photo via marhaba.qaIn

Tehran, an Iranian man buys sweet delicacies to eat after the Eid meal.

Photo via xinhuanet.com

Feature photo via unsplash.com