New Delhi: Dressed in festive finery, Muslims in the city Friday thronged the historic 17th century Jama Masjid and other Eidgahs to offer congregational prayers on Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Jama Masjid, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1656, was the centrepiece of celebrations in Delhi. Prayers were also offered at Fatehpuri Masjid and Hazrat Nizamuddin, as thousands of Muslims hugged and greeted each other with the traditional greeting of “Eid Mubarak”.
Dressed in their best, Muslims — men and women of all ages accompanied by children — made a beeline to the prayer grounds, mosques and shrines to offer prayers which mark the end of fasting month of Ramadan.
Once the prayers are offered, it’s time to meet friends and family to exchange gifts and, more importantly, to feast.
“I will be visiting a couple of friends in the neighbourhood who have prepared some traditional delicacies. We will all have a meal together,” said Zoya Khanam, a resident of Kucha Rahman in the walled city.
The sumptuous platter including “sevaiyan” (vermicelli pudding), “phirni” (rice pudding), biryani and mutton, chicken and lamb dishes are prepared at home as well as in restaurants on the occasion.
The exquisite dishes could satiate hunger more easily than the taste buds.
Markets in the walled city, especially bakeries, eateries, apparel and accessories shops did brisk business as huge crowds turned up and shopped for gifts, clothes and food items.
Towards evening, a lit up Jama Masjid in the walled city will add to the glimmer and exuberance surrounding the festival.
Delhi Police have made elaborate security arrangements, including diverting traffic at various places, particularly near mosques.
Social networking sites such as Facebook too were abuzz with activity since Thursday evening as people wished one another through messages, posts and e-cards.
Meanwhile, Muslims across Odisha Friday celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan with religious fervour.
Large congregations of Muslims were seen in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak, Balasore and Sambalpur towns with the devout packing into mosques, Eidgahs and open grounds to offer prayers.
Hindu families visited the houses of their Muslim friends, greeted them and joined in the special community feasts on the occasion.
“We prayed for communal peace, universal brotherhood and removal of human suffering,” Abdul Bari, president of the Chauda Mahala Muslim Jamat in Bhadrak, about 150 km from here, told IANS.
Governor S.C. Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and state Congress chief Jayadeb Jena were among the prominent people to send greetings on the occasion.
Elaborate security arrangements were in place in Muslim-populated areas of the state to ensure peaceful celebrations.
There has been no report of any untoward incident from anywhere, the state police control room in Cuttack said.
Eid, celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marks the end of the fasting period during the holy month of Ramadan.
Eid is an Arabic word meaning festivity while Fitr means charity.
Only 2.07 percent of Odisha’s population of 41 million are Muslims. (IANS)