Kerala celebrates Id-Ul-Fitr within the bounds of the pandemic protocol

Lockdown or no lockdown, Id-ul-Fitr brings moments of joy after the month long fasting in Ramzan. Children in Malappuram celebrating the Id by applying henna on their hands.   | Photo Credit: Sakeer Hussain

Id-Ul-Fitr celebration on Thursday is likely to be a relatively low-key affair in Kerala, given the worrying upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

The State is observing the culmination of an almost month-long period of daytime fasting and Ramadan prayers under the pall of the pandemic.

The State is on alert following the uptick in Kerala’s COVID-19 death rate. The number of new cases and hospitalisations too remain disturbingly high.

Worshippers generally avoided community prayers and eschewed family gatherings in a collective bid to rein in the accelerated spread of the vector.

Under the guidance of religious scholars, mosques have drastically limited the number of persons attending congregational prayers.

The few faithful who turned up for worship carried their prayer mats and rinsed themselves in running water before entering mosques as mandated by public health officials. Security persons at the entrances verified their body temperature and collected their contact information.

Worshippers were double-masked and followed social-distancing. In a break from tradition, citizens limited prayers and feasted within their homes. The pandemic had also put a dampener on shopping, socialising and holidaying.

Families, friends and relatives greeted each other remotely via mobile phone and online platforms.

The top council of Muslim clerics, including Panakkad Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal and Kanthapuram A. P. Aboobacker Musliyar, had agreed to observe Id-Ul-Fitr on Thursday.

The government eased a few restrictions on the festival eve, allowing meat stalls to remain open till 10 p.m.

Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala greeted Keralites on the occasion of the festival.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 10:37:00 PM |

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