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Arab states announce Eid al-Fitr celebration to be marked Sunday

Published:

The Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan is to start on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's religious authorities announced.

Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates also announced the celebration to be marked on Sunday, following the sighting of the new moon that will mark the beginning of the lunar month of Shawal, which follows the fasting month of Ramadan in the Muslim hijri calendar.

Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from drinking, eating, smoking and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam alongside the Shahada (Muslim profession of faith), daily prayers, Zakat (almsgiving) and the pilgrimage to Mecca also known as hajj, at least once in a lifetime.

Eid al-Fitr is one of the two biggest Muslim holidays of the year, often compared to Christmas in its significance and revelry. The other major holiday is the sacrificial feast of Eid al-Adha, at the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

In predominantly Muslim countries, the celebration can last for three days. Muslims fill the mosques early in the morning to attend the congregational Eid prayers.