Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh today with religious fervour and solemnity.
Muslims across the country offered prayers on the occasion which marks the end of month-long fasting of Ramzan.
Lakhs of Muslims congregated at various mosques in the national capital, including the historic Jama Masjid, to offer prayers seeking peace, progress and prosperity.
Old and young dressed in new clothes greeted each other and exchanged gifts on the occasion. Special sweet dishes such as ‘sewayian’, made of vermicelli, were also offered.
Police have stepped up security in and around the city to avoid any untoward incident.
Thousands of Muslims in Nepal today celebrated Eid—ul Fitr as the government for the first time announced a public holiday.
Nepalese celebrate Eid with public holiday
Nepalese Muslims thronged to mosques in various parts of the country, including the capital city, and offered special prayers today.
The 22-party coalition government announced a public holiday for Eid for the first time in the country, which till recently was the only Hindu nation in the world.
Nepal was converted to a secular state through a Parliament declaration two and half years ago.
According to an estimate, at least 10 per cent of the Nepalese population are followers of Islam.
In his message to the Muslim community, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said, “we need to respect the scientific and people oriented aspects of every religion.”
He also urged the countrymen irrespective to their caste, religion, culture and ethnicity to show tolerance, mutual trust and goodwill on the occasion.
Rajapaksa called for tolerance, unity and harmony on Eid
Hailing the contribution of Muslims to the progress of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr, has called for tolerance, unity and communal harmony amongst various communities in the Island nation.
In his message, Mr. Rajapaksa said: “On this very special occasion we look forward to the lasting partnership of the Muslims of Sri Lanka to forge a new Sri Lankan nation of unity, tolerance and harmony and making its own contribution to the further progress of peace in the country.”
During their long history of presence in Sri Lanka, the Muslim community has lived in harmony with the Sinhalese, Tamils, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and all other communities in the country and has contributed much to its progress, the message said.
"When the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated last year we had already cleared the Eastern Province, with its large population of Muslims, from the grip of (LTTE) terrorism,” Mr. Rajapaksa said while greeting the community on the occasion.
Millions celebrate Eid in Bangladesh
Muslim majority Bangladesh today celebrated the biggest Islamic festival Eid-ul-Fitr with millions joining congregations across the country, marking the end of the month-long fasting month of Ramadan.
Tight security was enforced as President Zillur Rahman and many other high-profile Bangladeshis attended the main congregation at the National Eidgah Maidan in central Dhaka.
Elite Special Security Force (SSF), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and intelligence agencies put up a security bulwark around the main congregation while some 33,000 policemen were deployed throughout the capital, officials said.
President Zillur Rahman also hosted reception at Bangabhaban presidential palace for distinguished people and foreign diplomats with Prime Minister Hasina joining the celebration.
But the late monsoon downpour partly marred the festivity in the capital forcing people to offer their Eid prayers in mosques instead of open fields.
Earlier, President Rahman, Premier Sheikh Hasina and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)chief Khaleda Zia congratulated the countrymen and the Muslims across the world on the occasion.