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