Aug. 31 - Muslims in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China celebrate the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan. Nick Rowlands reports.
Muslims in the Indian capital New Delhi commence celebrations for Eid al-Fitr with special prayers in the early hours of Wednesday. The festival marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. In Srinagar in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, residents hope for peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) REYAZ, SRINAGAR RESIDENT: "It is the time of the year when we celebrate Eid. I wish everyone Eid Mubarak and hope that everyone lives happily. We want that there should be peace in the state. Kashmiris want that there should be peace and we want that everyone must work together and help each other in doing well." In the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, devotees listen to a sermon by the imam. Later, they will spend the day celebrating with their loved ones. (SOUNDBITE) (Bengali) DHAKA RESIDENT MOHAMMAD RUSSEL: "After a month of fasting I joined the Eid prayer session in this mosque. Today is a day of joy, so now I am going back home to celebrate the day with my parents and family members." The Indonesian president attended prayers in the Istiqlal Grand Mosque in the capital, Jakarta. The end of Ramadan - and the start of Eid - is determined by the sighting of the moon. This year, the Muhammadiyah Islamic group celebrated the beginning of Eid on Tuesday - along with much of the Arab world - whereas the Indonesian government declared the festival began on Wednesday. In China, Eid al-Fitr is only a one day celebration, unlike in most Muslim countries where it lasts three days. But, as it is across the whole of the Islamic world, the festival is a chance to eat, drink, give thanks, and celebrate with family and friends. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 30-YEAR-OLD BEIJING RESIDENT XU NINGNING: "We are very glad because this festival is very important for us. For us Muslims, it is a festival to get together. Lots of different friends from all over the place take the opportunity to get together here." Coming at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr translates as the festival of breaking the fast. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.