Eid al-Fitr 2012: The End of Ramadan Festivities Around the World
Muslims stand after offering last Friday prayers at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) ahead of Eid-al-Fitr in the old quarters of Delhi, 17 August 2012. Eid-al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, and is scheduled to be celebrated in India on 20 August.EUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee extended their greetings as the nation observed Eid-ul-Fitr on Monday.

The Prime Minister said that the Festival of Eid is an occasion for happiness and is marked by the spirit of brotherhood and sacrifice. "May Eid this year further strengthen our cultural bonds and bring peace and prosperity to all," said Singh.

While wishing on the occasion of Eid, Mukherjee said, "May this auspicious day strengthen mutual goodwill and instill a sense of unity and pride in the composite culture of India".

In another message on Sunday Vice President Ansari also extended his greetings and good wishes to the country on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, saying that this festival signifies the traditional expression of fraternity and brotherhood across the country.

He wished that this festival may unite all humanity in a common bond of understanding and inspire all to work tirelessly towards building a harmonious, peaceful and prosperous society

Eid-ul-Fitr marks the culmination of the holy month of 'Ramzan' or 'Ramadan', which signifies the Islamic period of fasting. The followers of Islamic religion will observe the dawn-to-sunset fast during the month of 'Ramadan' and end the rituals after they spot a full moon. This festival is celebrated for one, two or three days.

Muslims will celebrate the festival after ending the fast with small-breakfast before going to the mosques to take part in special Eid-prayers. Post the prayers they would begin the celebration with delicacies specially cooked for the festival day.

Eid festival inspires Muslims to forgive and forget the past differences with others that may have surfaced during the year.