Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 8 IANS | 2 years ago

Thousands of Muslim men and women across Kerala congregated at Eidgahs Thursday morning to offer prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

Muslims in Kerala account for more than 24 percent of the 32 million people in the state.

Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations were in full swing in the Muslim-dominated districts of north Kerala like Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargode.

Across the state, Muslims got together at halls and, in some places, in stadiums to hear religious discourses by clerics.

The state government has declared a two-day holiday on account of Eid. The Saturday following it is the second Saturday of the month, observed as a holiday by the state government. Keralites are thus in holiday mode until Sunday.

However, central government offices are working Thursday, as are all IT companies.

"I have taken the day off on account of Eid, but the office is working. For the past few years, this is the practice we follow," a Muslim IT professional working at the Technopark campus in the state capital said.

Mutton stalls in the state have witnessed a huge rush since Wednesday evening, as people queued to buy meat at a cost as high as Rs.500 a kg. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the dawn-to-sunset period of fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Wednesday night, after the moon was sighted in Kozhikode, Muslim clerics and community leaders announced that Eid-ul-Fitr would be celebrated in Kerala Thursday.

(Posted on 08-08-2013)