Hundreds of thousands of worshippers have gathered across the world to perform the first day of prayers for the Eid al Adha festival. Muslims attend Eid al Adha prayers with social distancing as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus at a mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia, July 31, 2020. (AFP) Muslims in many countries around the world have started celebrating Eid al Adha, the annual festival of sacrifice.
It marks the 12th and last month of the Muslim lunar calendar.
The event also marks the end of Hajj, a five-day pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca.
The Eid prayer, performed by Muslim worshippers across the world, kicks off the first day of the annual festival
In Istanbul, thousands gathered in Hagia Sophia mosque in the early hours of Friday morning to attend Eid prayers for the first time since the iconic building's reconversion into a mosque
Muslims, wearing protective masks gather for the Eid al Adha prayer inside Hagia Sophia, recently converted back to a mosque, in Istanbul, July 31, 2020. (AP) In Indonesia, home to the world’s largest population of Muslims, people were allowed to attend Eid prayers in mosques under strict health guidelines, including bringing their own prayer mats and praying several feet apart from one another. Worshippers were told to wear masks and are to refrain from shaking hands or hugging
Authorities in Indonesia also ordered that meat be delivered door-to-door to the poor to avoid long lines
Muslims attend Eid al-Adha prayers with social distancing measures in a mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia, July 31, 2020. (AFP) An important part of the four-day Eid al Adha, or «Feast of Sacrifice,» is when Muslims slaughter livestock and distribute the meat to the poor
Muslim pilgrims wearing face masks and keeping social distance perform Tawaf around Kaaba during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease pandemic, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on July 31, 2020 (Reuters) The Saudi Health Ministry said there have been no cases of the Covid-19 illness among this year's pilgrims after a scaled-down hajj
Mullahs wearing protective face masks wait for Eid al Adha prayer while maintaining a social distance at the almost empty main Mosque in Moscow, Russia, July 31, 2020. (AP) Last year, some 2.5 million people took part in the hajj pilgrimage
This year as few as 1,000 pilgrims already residing in Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform the hajj.
Palestinian Muslims offer Eid al Adha prayers, in the West Bank city of Nablus, July 31, 2020. (AP) The pandemic has pushed millions of people around the world closer to the brink of poverty, making it harder for many to fulfill the religious tradition of purchasing livestock
Muslim worshippers offer Eid al Adha prayer at a park as mosques are limited for ten people due to Covid-19 measures, Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 31, 2020. (AP) Muslim leaders in Albania and Kosovo called on people «to be careful» in their festivities to avoid transmission of the virus, including limiting family visits
Britain enforced new lockdown rules in Manchester and nearby parts of northern England in an ill-timed announcement on the eve of the festival
People sit with social distancing inside Manchester Central Mosque, as Muslims worldwide mark the start of the Eid al Adha holiday, in Manchester, northern England, July 31, 2020. (AP) In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, streets were largely empty due to a 10-day lockdown imposed by authorities to prevent further spread of the virus. Eid prayers in mosques were cancelled
«We had hoped that the curfew would be lifted during the Eid period … we were surprised that the lockdown period included the Eid holiday and more,» said Marwan Madhat, a Baghdad cafe owner. «This will cause losses.»
Iranian women wearing protective face masks offer Eid prayers outside a mosque due to the Covid-19 measures in Tehran, Iran, July 31, 2020. (AA) Kosovo and the United Arab Emirates have also closed mosques to limit the spread of the virus
Muslim men wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus offer Eid al Adha prayers, in Mombasa, Kenya, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP) Source: TRTWorld and agencies