West Bengal celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr with prayers, cultural soirees

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Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) West Bengal on Saturday joined the nation in celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, with Muslims, attired in traditional clothes, pouring out on to the street to hold special prayers, greet one another and take part in cultural programmes.

Since morning, people gathered at mosques, and also at places in the city and the districts where Eid congregations are being held for decades.

The festival marked the end of Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which has dawn-to-dusk fasting for all Muslims above a certain age.

After prayers and a breakfast of dates and sweets, Muslim families got together for their first midday meal in a month. Non-Muslim friends also joined in to add diversity to the celebrations.

Muslim-dominated areas in the city like Raja Bazaar, Park Circus and Khidderpore, wore a festive look.

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The city’s main Eid congregation was held on the sprawling Indira Gandhi Sarani (erstwhile Red Road), where thousands of devotees sat on rugs or pieces of papers and offered prayer.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee participated in the Indira Gandhi Sarani celebrations.

At the mosques, Muslims hugged one another ignoring class differences. Many of those settled abroad made it a point to return to Kolkata to celebrate Eid with their family members.

Heavy security arrangements were made across the city to prevent any breach of peace.

Fairs and cultural programs were organised in different parts of the state where children donning in traditional attires were seen revelling in festivities.

–IANS

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