Muslims in most Middle Eastern countries will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival on Sunday, marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, with anti-coronavirus restrictions in place across the region.
The royal court in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, declared that Saturday is the final day of Ramadan and Sunday would mark the first day of the month of Shawwal and the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest occasions in the Islamic calendar.
The beginning and end of Islamic months are determined by the sighting of the new moon.
Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and the Yemeni government will also celebrate on Sunday.
In an address to mark Eid al-Fitr, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmed Al Sabah Sheikh Sabah paid tribute to health workers, security personnel and all front-line staff for their efforts during the pandemic.
“We should rejoice in the happy Eid and draw on hope and optimism and spread them to family and relatives,” the emir said, urging people to abide by the preventative measures.
Countries in the region have announced different measures for Eid.
Saudi Arabia will impose a nationwide 24-hour curfew from May 23 to 27, allowing people to go out briefly to buy food.
In Jordan, a three-day curfew went into effect on Friday, banning people from leaving their houses for any reason until Monday morning.
The event is usually marked with special prayers, while families exchange visits and share cookies filled with dates or nuts.