Eid Al Fitr to begin on Thursday in Lebanon

The country will go into a two-day lockdown during Eid

People watch a whirling dervish perform during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a tradition ahead of the Fitr feast, in Lebanon's southern city of Saida late on May 8, 2021. Dervishes are adepts of Sufism, a mystical form of Islam that preaches tolerance and a search for understanding. Those who whirl, like planets around the sun, turn dance into a form of prayer. / AFP / Mahmoud ZAYYAT

Lebanon will welcome Eid Al Fitr on Thursday, May 13.

Eid was announced on Wednesday night after moon-sighting committees in the Arab world spotted the new moon with the naked eye, signaling the end of Ramadan.

Eid is a joyous time of the year that is often celebrated in Lebanon with decorations and delicacies like 'maamoul', or Lebanese shortbread stuffed with dates, pistachios, almonds or walnuts.

Worshippers gather all night to hold Eid prayers or Salat al Eid, as part of a religious ceremony.

This year, however, Eid prayers will be held at 30 per cent capacity in Lebanon’s mosques due to coronavirus restrictions.

The country will also enforce a nationwide lockdown for two days to avoid super spreader events and large gatherings.

The lockdown is the latest in a series of preventive measures aimed at curbing a Covid-19 outbreak, despite noticeable improvement in Lebanon's coronavirus numbers. It was also implemented throughout Easter 2021.

During lockdown, a 24-hour curfew will be in place starting 5 am on the first night of Eid and will last for two days. A permit will be required to go to places like supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and hospitals.

Malls, gyms, restaurants and cafes will be closed, but delivery services will remain operational. Lebanese authorities are also working with religious organisations to encourage safety measures.

Still, residents say Eid is special.

“It’s not the optimal celebration this year, but Eid will always make me happy with the wonderful energy it brings,” 19-year-old student Dina Hussein said.

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