Muslims gather in Indonesia and Malaysia to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the “Eid al-Fitr” holiday after Ramadan.
Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia gathered in droves for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and were relieved to be able to celebrate freely after most COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, curtailing previous celebrations.
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, hundreds of worshipers attended morning prayers at the historic Sunda Kelapa port north of Jakarta on Saturday to mark the end of Ramadan.
“I’m glad we’re out of the (COVID restrictions) now,” Leila, 35, who shares the same name as many Indonesians, told Reuters.
Another believer, Adit Chandra, 30, said: “I hope from now on things will get better and we can be reunited with our families after not being able to go back to our hometown for the past three years.”
Chandra is one of more than 120 million Indonesians, almost half the country’s population, who plan to return home from major urban centers for Eid. The government said that figure was about 44 percent more than the number who traveled during last year’s celebrations.
In neighboring Malaysia, believers also celebrated with their families.
Khairul Soryati, a 39-year-old resident of the capital Kuala Lumpur, said: “We can visit extended families without any feeling of suspiciousness…During the pandemic, we are cautious.”
Muhd Nur Afham, 31, who works in Singapore, said he was finally able to celebrate with his family in Malaysia this year after being unable to travel during the pandemic.
“I’m grateful … last time we just met via video call,” he said.
However, authorities in both countries are urging the public to be cautious amid reports of rising COVID cases.