Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated in Pakistan with much religious fervour and general merriment. The national holiday comes on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, immediately following the holy month of Ramadan and month-long period of fasting, prayer and devotion. It is one of the most important of all Muslim commemorations.
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Although the festivity lasts for three days, it is mostly the early part of the first day that is focused on religious activities at a local mosque or prayer ground. Traditionally, it’s the men alone who go to say their Eid prayers at the dawning of Eid ul-Fitr.
Much of the rest of the holiday is centred around food and fellowship. The zakat al-fitr is a food-gift that Muslims are required to give to the poor this time of year. And everyone cooks up special meals at home and invites friends, neighbours, and relatives to partake.
There are thousands of prayer meetings for Eid, but the largest ones take place at the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad and the Liaquat Bagh Mosque in Rawalpindi. Additionally, there will be special speeches by government officials, special TV and radio programs, and Eid supplements added to newspapers. Gifts are given mostly to children, but Eid cards may be exchanged by all.