It was celebrated for a second time under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and with restrictions in place.
21 Jul 2021

Muslims in several countries around the world, especially in South Asia, including Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh celebrated Eidul Azha on Wednesday.

Eidul Azha, which is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings, and, for many, slaughtering of livestock and giving meat to the needy, was celebrated for a second time under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and with restrictions in place in many countries.

Some countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Afghanistan and Indonesia celebrated Eid a day earlier.

In Pakistan, President Dr Arif Alvi appealed to citizens to follow precautionary measures against the coronavirus while Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasised the spirit of sacrifice, saying that "qurbani (ritual animal sacrifice) does not only mean sacrificing the animal but it also refers to man sacrificing his desires for a higher purpose."

The premier added that this was "the same spirit of sacrifice because of which the Pakistani nation had been protected from the universal pandemic through great intelligence, a national strategy and courage".

People offer prayers at an Eidgah during the Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice, in Quetta on Wednesday. — AFP
People offer prayers at an Eidgah during the Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice, in Quetta on Wednesday. — AFP

People attend Eidul Azha prayers at the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore. — AP
People attend Eidul Azha prayers at the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore. — AP

Women attend Eidul Azha prayers at the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore. — AP
Women attend Eidul Azha prayers at the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore. — AP

Children guide their goats before slaughter in Karachi. — Reuters
Children guide their goats before slaughter in Karachi. — Reuters

People attend Eidul Azha prayers at a playground, as the outbreak of the coronavirus continues, in Karachi. — Reuters
People attend Eidul Azha prayers at a playground, as the outbreak of the coronavirus continues, in Karachi. — Reuters

India's Muslim scholars have been urging people to exercise restraint and adhere to health protocols during Eidul Azha. Some states restricted large gatherings and asked people to observe the holiday at home.

Meanwhile, the pandemic's economic fallout, which threw millions of Indians into financial hardship, had many saying they could not afford to buy sacrificial livestock.

Muslims offer prayers in front of the Taj Mahal on Eidul Azha in Agra, India. — AP
Muslims offer prayers in front of the Taj Mahal on Eidul Azha in Agra, India. — AP

People greet each other after offering prayers during Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice, at Jama Masjid Khairuddin in Amritsar. — AFP
People greet each other after offering prayers during Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice, at Jama Masjid Khairuddin in Amritsar. — AFP

Tens of millions of Bangladeshis defied a Covid-19 surge to join prayers in packed mosques and outdoor locations, as Muslims slaughtered record numbers of animals for Eidul Azha.

The government lifted a strict lockdown for a week to allow millions to head back to their villages for the second-largest religious festival in the country.

People offer prayers to mark the start of Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice, in Dhaka. — AFP
People offer prayers to mark the start of Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice, in Dhaka. — AFP

A follower of the Senegalese Layene community performs a prayer during Tabaski (Eidul Azha) celebrations in the popular neighbourhood of Yoff in Dakar. — AFP
A follower of the Senegalese Layene community performs a prayer during Tabaski (Eidul Azha) celebrations in the popular neighbourhood of Yoff in Dakar. — AFP

An aerial view shows Iraqis performing Eidul Azha prayer at the Great Mosque of Kufa, 10 kilometres northeast of the city of Najaf. — AFP
An aerial view shows Iraqis performing Eidul Azha prayer at the Great Mosque of Kufa, 10 kilometres northeast of the city of Najaf. — AFP

People offer Eidul Azha prayers at the Jumma Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka. — AFP
People offer Eidul Azha prayers at the Jumma Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka. — AFP

People pray next to the grave of relatives at a cemetery during Eidul Azha in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat. — AFP
People pray next to the grave of relatives at a cemetery during Eidul Azha in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat. — AFP


Header: People greet each other after offering Eid prayers at the historical Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. — AFP


Additional input from AFP.