Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan 2014

The Muslim three-day Eid al-Fitr festival, marking the end of the month of Ramadan, began today in parts of the world where sightings of the new moon were made. During Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sex from dawn until sunset. The fast, one of the five pillars of Islam, is seen as a time for spiritual reflection, prayers, and charity. After sunset, Muslims traditionally break the fast by eating three dates, performing the Maghrib prayer, and sitting down to Iftar, the main evening meal, where communities and families gather together. Gathered here are images of Muslims around the world observing Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan this year.
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1. People ride in Bumper cars during an Eid celebration in Burgess Park in London, England, on July 28, 2014. The Muslim holiday Eid marks the end of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.




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2. An Indian Muslim father holds the hands of his daughter in his palms and prays before breaking fast on the first day of holy month Ramadan at the Jama Mosque in New Delhi, India, on June 30, 2014.




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3. A Malaysian Muslim women is silhouetted after reading the Koran during the holy month of Ramadan inside Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah mosque in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur on July 14, 2014.




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4. Indian Muslims shop ahead of Eid al-Fitr in the old city section of Hyderabad on July 28, 2014.




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5. A man carries a tray of traditional sweets to sell during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Herat city on July 7, 2014.




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6. A man performs a traditional dance in celebration after attending Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on July 28, 2014.




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7. A Malaysian man offers prayers at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque in Putrajaya on July 19, 2014.




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8. Ketupat are prepared at the traditional market as special Eid al-Fitr dishes on July 28, 2014 in Surabaya, Indonesia.




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9. Bangladeshi Muslims sit on the roof of an overcrowded train as others wait as they head to their homes ahead of Eid al-Fitr at a railway station in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, July 27, 2014.




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10. Muslims offer the first Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in the northern Indian city of Allahabad on July 4, 2014.




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11. A Palestinian boy plays with fireworks to celebrate the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City on Monday, June 30, 2014.




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12. An Indonesian girl holds a balloon during Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Parang Kusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014.




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13. Javanese Muslims gather on the beach as they prepare for Ramadan with the padusan ritual at Parangtritis beach on June 27, 2014 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Padusan ritual is done with the purpose of purifying themselves welcoming the holy month of Ramadan.




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14. A picture taken on July 28, 2014 shows the Dome of the Rock shining at sunrise on the first day of Eid al-Fitr holiday, that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third most holy site in the old city of Jerusalem.




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15. A Muslim family, before breaking their fast, during the holy month of Ramadan in Tucker, Georgia, on July 16, 2014.




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16. Hui Muslim girls share a smartphone as they attend a graduation for an Islamic studies course during the holy month of Ramadan at a mosque on July 22, 2014 in Sangpo, Henan Province, China. As part of a tradition dating back to the late 19th century and unique to China's 10 million Hui Muslims female congregations are led by female Imams in the women's only mosques of northwest China. Though able to teach and lead prayers for women, they are forbidden from overseeing funeral rituals or washing male corpses before burial.




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17. Kirkuk provincial Governor Najm al-Din Karim has lunch with Kurdish peshmerga forces in the district of Daquq, 45 kms south of the multi-ethnic northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on July 28, 2014 on the first day of the Muslim Eid festival ending the month-long fast of Ramadan. Islamic State jihadists who overran swathes of northern and western Iraq last month have not taken Kirkuk.




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18. Muslim men, bowing toward Mecca, offer Eid al-Fitr prayers that mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as police guard them at the main mosque in Moscow, Russia, on July 28, 2014. More than two hundred thousand Muslims gathered at Moscow's mosques to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr.




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19. A girl waits for food rations from volunteers at a window of a mosque, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Sanaa, Yemen, on July 6, 2014.




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20. A Pakistani Muslim devotee reads the Koran as he attends Itikaf worship during Ramadan at the Grand Faisal mosque in Islamabad on July 19, 2013. Itikaf is a spiritual retreat in a mosque, usually held during the last 10 days of Ramadan and during which Muslims spend the evening and night in the mosque devoting their time to solitary prayers and reading the Koran.




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21. A man arranges strands of vermicelli, which are kept for drying at a factory in the northern Indian city of Allahabad on July 1, 2014. Vermicelli is a specialty that is eaten during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.




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22. Kashmiri women offer prayers on a stairway outside a Muslim shrine during the holy month of Ramadan in Srinagar, India, on June 30, 2014.




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23. Overcrowded passenger boats navigate through Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 27, 2014. Millions of residents in Dhaka have started the exodus home from the capital city ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.




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24. A man serves a plate of food for breaking fast at a ceremony during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Cologne, Germany, on July 2, 2014.




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25. Pakistani Muslims offer Jummat-ul-Vida, the last congregational Friday prayers in the holy month of Ramadan, at the Data Darbar Mosque in Lahore on July 25, 2014.




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26. Iranian Shiite Muslim women pray as they place the Quran, Islam's holy book, on their heads during a religious ceremony at the graves of soldiers who were killed during 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, just outside Tehran, Iran, on July 19, 2014. Iranian Muslims spent the night in prayer and devotion commemorating Laylat Al Qadr, or the Night of Power, which is the anniversary of the night that Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Quran by the angel Gabriel.




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27. An Indian Muslim girl waits for her henna-decorated hands to dry at a roadside stall ahead of the Muslim festivities of Eid al-Fitr, in Mumbai on July 28, 2014.




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28. A Palestinian slips through an opening in Jerusalem's Old City wall as he heads to visit a grave at a cemetery on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on July 28, 2014.




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29. Iranian women attend a ceremony to recite verses of the Quran, Islam's holy book, during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the shrine of Saint Mohammad Helal Ibn Ali in the city of Aran and Bidgol, some 140 miles (225 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, on July 11, 2014.




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30. Hui Muslim women prepare food to break their fast during Ramadan at a women's only Mosque on July 11, 2014 in Sangpo, Henan Province, China.




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31. A Kashmiri Muslim woman prays behind a glass window, as women are not allowed to enter, at the shrine of Sufi saint Ziarat Sharief Hazrat Syed Yaqoob Sahib, during the holy month of Ramadan in Srinagar on July 10, 2014.




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32. A Palestinian vendor prepares traditional sweets during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in the West Bank city of Nablus on June 30, 2014.




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33. A girl from an Islamic commune An-Nadzir looks on during Eid Al Fitr mass prayer at Mawang Lake on July 27, 2014 in Gowa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The exclusive Islamic community An-Nadzir has 5,000-10,000 followers across Indonesia, one of world's largest Muslim nation. Their beliefs are the same as mainstream Muslims, but there are some differences in prayer timings and fast breaking methods.




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34. An Egyptian child plays as Muslims pray Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Azhar mosque, the highest Islamic Sunni institution, in Cairo, Egypt, on July 28, 2014.




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35. Indian Muslims lay out food for Iftar, the breaking of fast during Ramadan at the Alif Ni Masjid in Ahmedabad on July 27, 2014.




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36. A girl prays during Eid al-Fitr at a mosque in Palmeraie, in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, on July 28, 2014.




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37. Muslim youths pray atop motorcycle taxis during the fasting month of Ramadan in front of Al-Satie Mosque in Baseco, Tondo city, metro Manila, on July 4, 2014.




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38. A Yemeni girl poses as she attends the Eid al-Fitr prayer with her father, in Sanaa, Yemen, on July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day with dawn prayers and visiting cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead, with children getting new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visiting each other.