Muslims in Russia Pray in the Streets to Celebrate Eid al-Fitr

Posted August 30th, 2011 at 2:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Tens of thousands of Muslims gathered in Moscow and Saint Petersburg for worship Tuesday on Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Eid al-Fitr, or Uraza Bayram as it is more commonly known in Russia, celebrates the purification achieved during Ramadan. The month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Millions of Muslim citizens across Russia took part in the celebrations, disrupting normal life in a few larger Russian cities as the country does not have enough mosques to accommodate the Muslim faithful. This forced thousands of people to pray in the streets, triggering huge traffic jams.

Many people complained that the mass turnout had blocked the streets in major cities. But others said their fellow citizens have the right to celebrate according to their religion and that the disruptions were minor and will quickly pass.