Holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslim community, was celebrated in Bangladesh on Friday with prayers seeking an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is taking lives every day.
The Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated for the second consecutive year amid the nationwide restrictions to check the spread of Covid-19 infection.
Like the previous year, no outdoor programmes and Eid congregations at Eidgah or any other open spaces were held as per a direction of the government. Devotees mostly offered their Eid prayers at mosques throughout the country.
Earlier, the ministry said at a circular that the devotees must wear masks inside mosques and avoid using prayer mats and caps that were stored there.
The ministry also advised children, elderly people, people with physical ailments, and those taking care of the sick not to attend Eid congregations. Devotees were requested to avoid shaking hands and hugging after the prayers.
BSS said five Eid jamaats were held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka on Friday. The first Eid congregation was held at 7am while the next four at 8am, 9am, 10am, and 10:45am respectively.
Special doa was also offered at the mosques seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of those who died of fatal Covid-19 and also wishing for the early recovery of the Covid patients throughout the country as well as across the world.
President Abdul Hamid along with his family members and some senior government officials offered Eid prayers at Darbar hall of Bangabhaban at 10:30am.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the nation in separate messages on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Fitr.
In her address to the nation on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all to use masks, wash hands regularly with soap and follow other health protocols to stay safe.
She also urged Muslims to celebrate Eid where they are now.
Eid-ul-Fitr marks an end to the Muslims fasting month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk during the holy Ramadan.
On the Eid day morning, Muslims gather at mosques and prayer venues to perform Eid prayers and greet each other.
The festival is usually celebrated by visiting friends and relatives, hosting food parties and sharing sweets.
Children not only get new clothes and shoes, but also receive cash gifts called "Salami" from their elders, relatives and well-wishers.
The occasion is seen as a time of forgiveness and giving thanks to Allah for helping people complete their month-long spiritual fasting. Many Muslims distribute cash and food to the less fortunate ones.
But, this year, the Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated in a somber manner as the government has imposed restrictions on all social gatherings and urged the devotees to celebrate the festival with only family members indoors instead of visiting relatives' houses and outing around in the wake of the pandemic.
The main city streets and road islands were decorated with the national flag and banners inscribed with "Eid Mubarak" in both Bangla and Arabic.
Television channels and radio stations telecast special programmes marking the occasion.