New Delhi, Oct 14 (UNI) Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of 'Ramzan', was today celebrated with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm as Muslims offered prayers in large numbers at various mosques and shrines across the country.
People, wearing new clothes, greeted each other on the occasion which is the most important festival on the Islamic calendar.
The festival is traditionally celebrated for two days in UP.
Reports from the state said the much-awaited Eid-ul-Fitr began with an early meal and the men folk offering prayers in a congregation at a mosque. The uniformity in dressing and the manner in which they offered prayers symbolised unity. They then greeted each other and exchanged gifts.
In Bihar, the main congregation assembled at Gandhi Maidan where thousands of Muslims from all walks of life offered prayers to mark the day. After the Namaz, they exchanged greetings by hugging each other.
State Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with his cabinet colleagues and a large number of prominent personalities also attended the prayers and exchanged greetings.
Devotees in Andhra Pradesh organized special prayers at different mosques and shrines in the state. They exchanged pleasantries and also organized feasts for poor people. State Governor Narayana Dutt Tiwari, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and several other political leaders greeted the Muslims on the occasion.
The main congregations in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir were held at Eidgah grounds and the historic Hazratbal shrine, housing the holy relic of the Prophet Mohammad.
It was after nearly 20 years that Eid prayers were offered at Eidgah grounds in the old city.
Reports of huge congregations have been received from all district headquarters, towns and villages of the Kashmir valley and the Ladakh division, including Kargil district.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, former chief ministers Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Farooq Abdullah, National Conference chief Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, and many other leaders greeted the people on the occasion.
In Maharashtra, a large number of Muslims offered prayers at various playgrounds of Mumbai including historic Mastan Talab at Nagpada and YMCA ground at Madanpura.
At the Jama Masjid, the prayer was led by Maulana Zubair Parkar.
In his special prayer Khutba (Address), Maulana Parkar urged the community to be united and follow the principles of the Islam, as told in the Holy Quran, and practiced by the prophet.
''Islam means peace and brotherhood, and as a Muslim it is our fundamental duty to be loving to every community irrespective of his faith,'' Maulana Zubair said.
In Tripura, 18 inmates of Agartala Central Jail also celebrated the Eid-ul-fitr. Jail officials said the inmates, including seven serving life terms, gathered early in the morning to offer Namaz at the jail backyard and attended the sermon followed by a short congregational prayers.
The festival was also celebrated in other states including Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Goa.