When the sun sets on June 24, Muslims around the world will look skyward for a crescent of pale white light—the conclusion to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan emblazoned in the night sky.
Beginning and ending with the new moon, Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Arabic lunar calendar. It is believed by Muslims to be when the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than a millennium ago. From sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and vices like gossip and lying. Not only is it meant to be a period of self-reflection, but to serve as a reminder to be charitable to the less fortunate.
Eid al-Fitr, Arabic for “festival of breaking fast," is celebrated over three days at the end of Ramadan through prayer, feasts, parades, gifts, and charitable giving.
GAZA CITY, GAZA A man swings a firework atop a building in Gaza City, sending a halo of sparks into the night sky.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALI HASSAN, ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
KARACHI, PAKISTAN Clouds of rainbow-colored balloons fill the bustling streets of Karachi, and are often gifted to children during Eid al-Fitr.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SHAHZAIB AKBER, EPA/REDUX
BEIRUT, LEBANON Whirling dervishes, members of a Muslim subgroup distinguished for their ecstatic dance, perform for a crowd in Beirut.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANWAR AMRO, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA A group of men play a game of bola api, or fire football, ahead of Eid al-Fitr in Yogyakarta.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ULET IFANSASTI, GETTY IMAGES
ANKARA, TURKEY Muslims attend morning prayers at Kocatepe Mosque, the largest mosque in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MURAT KULA, ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
CAIRO, EGPYT Children play on a swing during a fair for Eid al-Fitr in Cairo, Egypt.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
DHAKA, BANGLADESH A salesman displays brightly embroidered saris at a textile shop in Dhaka. Ramadan is one of the busiest times for retail sales, with new clothing being a popular gift for Eid al-Fitr.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MUNIR UZ ZAMAN, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
CHENNAI, INDIA A woman sorts strands of drying seviiyan, thin vermicelli, which is used to make sheer khurma, a traditional sweet dish prepared throughout Ramadan in India.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ARUN SANKAR, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL A girl blows bubbles in front of the golden dome of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in the Old City of Jerusalem.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SLIMAN KHADER, REDUX
BEIJING, CHINA Chinese Hui Muslims light incense at the Sheiks’ tombs after Eid al-Fitr prayers at the historic Niujie Mosque in Beijing.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN FRAYER, GETTY IMAGES
NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES Children receive gifts in the courtyard of the Bergen Religious Mosque and Cultural Center in New Jersey.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CEM OZDEL, ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
MOSCOW, RUSSIA Muslims gather to pray at the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, considered the central mosque in Russia.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEXANDER UTKIN, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
YANGON, MYANMAR Seen in many different countries, girls wear henna designs on their hands to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at an orphanage in Yangon.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROMEO GACAD, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
DAKAR, SENEGAL A family sits on the beach in Dakar, Senegal, awaiting prayer time at the nearby Mausolée De Seydina Limamou.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CEMIL OKSUZ, ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM Rows of Muslims pray during the Southwark Eid Festival in Burgess Park, London.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROB STOTHARD, GETTY IMAGES
Header Image: JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN A circus performer rides a motorcycle across the "Wall of Death" during a fair on the second day of Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. PHOTOGRAPH BY NOORULLAH SHIRZADA, AFP/GETTY IMAGES