Moslems throughout the world are celebrating the end of Ramadan -- the thirty day religious period of prayer and fasting.
Moslems throughout the world are celebrating the end of Ramadan -- the thirty day religious period of prayer and fasting. In Nigeria on Tuesday (22 August) Ramadan concluded with the traditional Id-El-Fitr Festival.
SYNOPSIS: Preparations for the festival began with the sighting of the new moon. By tradition the new moon has to rise before Ramadan can come to an end. The government asked Moslems to watch the night skies so the first sighting could be reported to local religious authorities without delay.
The sighting was confirmed on Tuesday (22 August). At Zaria in northern Nigeria thousands of Moslems gathered in prayer, to mark the end of their thirty days of fasting. In a written message Nigeria's head of state General Olusegun Obasanjo congratulated the country's Moslems for their dedication in observing the fast. He said they would have learned many lessons including the virtues of personal, family and community discipline. At the same time he urged all Nigerians to unite and build a just, fair and disciplined society.
The official start of the Id-El-Fitr festival, marked by a colourful street parade, was marred by a sudden rainstorm, but still thousands of people took part. At the head of the procession came Moslem leaders, some of them on horseback.
In another message to Moslems, military administrator Group Captain Ishaya Shekari called on all Nigerians to maintain their spiritual goals. He said hatred and disunity could not be allowed to creep into society. As a final tribute, General Obasanjo said Moslems in Nigeria and throughout the world should be proud of their observance of Ramadan.