Photo taken on May 3, 2022 shows people performing Eid al-Fitr prayers at a masjid in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Xinhua)
DHAKA, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Eid al-Fitr, the largest Muslim festival that marks the ending of the month-long fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, is a time for immense joy and happiness for Muslims in Bangladesh and across the world.
After a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, the largest festival is back in full swing in Bangladesh with Muslims shaking hands and hugging each other thrice as usual after Eid prayers this time.
With the infection rate subsiding largely and new deaths dropping, Bangladesh is celebrating this Eid like the regular year and the air is filled with festivities.
Muslims across the country flocked to open places and masjids for offering special Eid prayers on Tuesday morning.
Long lines of worshippers were seen since Eid day morning in front of Dhaka's many masjids, including the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque.
Also, the main Eid congregation in the capital was held at the national Eidgah (an open ground for Eid prayers) after two years.
"Eid this year is quite normal. It's entirely different to those Eids in the last two years," said Abdur Rahim on the way back from the national Eid congregation venue with his family members including children, holding colorful balloons.
"This time we're again going to visit houses of relatives and friends waiting for us with special dishes," he said while seeking his car parked far away from the congregation way.
Businesses elsewhere in the city said they were feeling the usual Eid boom this year.
"We did business as usual this season. We feel that this is truly Eid time," said Ahsan Miah, a shopkeeper who kept his outlet open even on Eid day in Eastern Dhaka's Banasree area.
On the street in front of the shop near the main masjid of Banasree area, hawkers are seen roaming as usual. Children with family members attended the Eid prayers and gathered around the hawkers to buy balloons, toys and candies.
"There is an excellent atmosphere of joy and happiness of Eid this time. We don't feel like we're in an adverse situation like past years," Masud Ahmad said while buying balloons for his kids.
He said many of his kith and kin have gone home to join the Eid festival celebration with their families in villages after the annual exodus had been stalled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a post on his Facebook page, Bangladeshi Posts and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Saturday said the number of mobile SIM card users that left Dhaka in five days till May 1 has crossed the 10-million mark.
While millions of people were on the move at bus terminals, train stations and river ports, traveler Tumpa Moni said "being able to go home in this crowd is a great joy for me."
Many were unable to go home in the last two years due to the pandemic, Moni said.
TV channels telecasting special programs showed gorgeous Eid celebrations in places outside the capital city.
The country's largest Eid congregation was reportedly held widely at Sholakia in Kishoreganj district, some 117 km northeast of Dhaka, with hundreds of thousands of participants offering prayers. Worshippers there are seen shaking hands and doing the customary hugging after the prayers. ■
Two boys hug each other after Eid al-Fitr prayers at a masjid in Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 3, 2022. (Xinhua)