Most parts of the world today will be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of holy month of Ramadan, in a sombre manner as the world is undergoing the restrictions of the pandemic.
Beside Saudi Arabia's announcement to celebrate Eid on Sunday, religious authorities based in Jerusalem, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya and Lebanon also said that Eid-ul-Fitr would begin on Sunday. The date and timing of Eid is determined by the position of the moon, according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
The festival is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and through socialising.
But this year, the celebration is overshadowed by the fast-spreading respiratory disease Covid-19, with many countries tightening lockdown restrictions after a partial easing during Ramadan led to a sharp spike in infections.
Further dampening the festive spirit, multiple countries - from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Turkey and Syria - have banned mass prayer gatherings, a festival highlight, to limit the spread of the disease.
Saudi Arabia began a five-day, round-the-clock curfew from Saturday after infections more than quadrupled since the start of Ramadan to around 68,000.
Eid prayers will be held at the two holy mosques in the cities of Makkah and Madinah "without worshippers", authorities said on Saturday, citing a royal decree.
Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, will reopen to worshippers only after Eid, its governing body said.
In Lebanon, the highest Sunni religious authority has announced the reopening of mosques only for Friday prayers. Worshippers, however, will be subject to temperature checks and sanitary controls before they enter.
Meanwhile in Bangladesh Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on May 25 as the Shawwal moon was not sighted in Bangladesh sky on Saturday. The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Moon Sighting Committee on Saturday evening after reviewing the information of Shawwal moon sighting.
However, residents of 40 villages in Chandpur district and half of the villages under seven upazilas of south Chattogram will be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr today in line with Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Devotees of these villages began fasting on the same date with the people of Saudi Arabia.
This year, the Eid celebration in Bangladesh is expected to take up an unusual shift due to coronavirus pandemic situation, where the government urged Muslim devotees to avoid Eidgah or other open places for Eid congregations and offer prayers at mosques maintaining recommended health advice.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs issued an emergency notification on May 14 in this regard, saying the decision was taken due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
The notification urged devotees to bring prayer mats from home and to shun handshaking and hugging after the prayer which has been a common practice throughout the world.
All must wear masks inside mosques and avoid using prayer mats and caps that were stored earlier there.
Moreover, children, elderly people, people with physical ailment, and those who are involved in taking care of the sick will not be allowed to attend the Eid prayer.