Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) Turning out in their festive best, Muslims across West Bengal took part in special prayers at mosques since early morning and hugged and greeted each other to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Saturday.
A large number of members from the community gathered at the city’s principal mosque, Nakhoda Masjid, while the sprawling Indira Gandhi Sarani – erstwhile Red Road – saw over 40,000 devotees on rugs to offer namaaz prayers.
The festival marked the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting from dawn to dusk.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted people on the occasion and participated at the Indira Gandhi Road congregation.
The mass prayers were followed by day-long merry making, a large part of which revolves around feasts.
Mughlai cuisine, including mouthwatering dishes of biryanis and kebabs, as also fresh fruits and home-made desserts like ‘sewayian’ were the favourities.
The festival is an all-inclusive affair in Kolkata with members of other religions also being a part of the celebrations.
To bring a smile on very lip on the joyous occasion, various clubs, NGOs and civic bodies arranged programmes where new clothes and food packets were handed out to the poor and the needy.
Women gathered around in henna stalls to adorn themselves with the art while children were given money by elders to enjoy the day.
Heavy security arrangements were made across the city and all districts of the state to prevent any untoward incidents.
This year, security was intensified as Eid and the Hindu festival of Rathyatra were held on the same day.