New Delhi, Aug 20 - It was a day of prayers, feasting and togetherness Monday as Muslims in the national capital celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramzan.
The traditional greeting of "Eid Mubarak" echoed all around as, dressed in their finest, thousands of Muslims gathered at mosques all over the city. The centrepiece was the historic Jama Masjid in the walled city.
In the backdrop of the ethnic violence in Assam and thousands of people from the northeast fleeing places like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune following rumours that they would be attacked, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the shahi imam of Jama Masjid, said people should not fall prey to rumours and maintain peace and calm.
"I appeal to the Muslims to not fall prey to rumours. Maintain peace and calm wherever you are," Bukhari said.
Eid, celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marks the end of the period of fasting during the holy month of Ramzan. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fitr means "charity".
The days leading up to Eid have been full of shopping for clothes, utensils and dry fruits. And Eid itself promised to be one long party.
"We are back after our namaz prayer. Now it is time to meet friends and relatives to offer traditional delicacies," Syed Mehdi, a resident of Urdu Bazar, near Jama Masjid, said.
"There would be some exchange of gifts also... And then a family dinner," Mehdi added.
The sumptuous delicacies on the platter include sevian (vermicelli), phirni, biryanis, kebabas and more.
For children, an inherent part of the much-awaited festival is earning 'Eidi' - a token of love from elders, usually money.
Towards the evening, a lit up Jama Masjid in the walled city adds to the glimmer and exuberance surrounding the festival.
Delhi Police have made elaborate security arrangements - apart from diverting traffic at various places, particularly near mosques.(ians)