IN SOUTH FLORIDA: Ramadan ended Tuesday night with the sighting of the new moon, marking the beginning on Wednesday of the three-day observance of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr – often translated from the original Arabic as “recurring happiness.” Enjoying their Eid at Amelia Earthart Park in Hialeah were Gaynell Chistian-Almaruf and her granddaughter of the historic Masjid Al-Ansar in Miami. Below, other scenes. PHOTO COURTESY OF JIHAD THOMAS J. AL-MARUF

CAIRO – Muslims around the world this week bid farewell to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the month honoring the revelation of the Quran, and began celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Eid is marked with congregational prayers and festivities that typically include family visits and gatherings. This year, Eid comes just after the Israel-Hamas conflict crosses the somber milestone of having stretched on for half a year.

During Ramadan, as Muslims around the world savored the traditions of their diverse communities, prayers, charity and other forms of advocacy for Palestinians in Gaza, who include Christians and members of other faiths as well as Muslims, were high on the minds of many.

What is Eid al-Fitr?

The Eid is an Islamic holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the month when the Quran first began to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia more than 1,400 years ago.

During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast daily from food, drink, legal sexual relations and other normally permissible natural activity from dawn to sunset.

Ramadan instead is a time of increased worship of the Creator – Allah in Arabic – and heightened acts of charity and other good deeds, along with increased study of the Quran. Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival denoting the successful completion of and breaking of the fast, is the major of the two annual celebrations when Muslims around the world commemorate the worship of the Almighty. The other Eid, Eid al-Adha, marks the successful completion by those participating in the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to the ancient holy city Mecca.

When is Eid al Fitr?

Islam follows a lunar rather than solar calendar, so Ramadan and Eid cycle through the seasons. This year, the first day of Eid al-Fitr for most Muslims in South Florida was Wednesday, April 10. The exact date may vary among countries and Muslim communities.

What are some common Eid greetings?

Eid Mubarak translates as Blessed Eid, or Happy Eid. What are some of the traditions and customs associated with Eid al-Fitr?

Muslims in the United States make up an ethnically and racially diverse minority. African American Muslims, most from the original Nation of Islam led by the group’s founder the Hon. Elijah Muhammed, comprise the largest group of indigenous American Muslims.

Under the leadership of his son, the late Imam W.D. Mohammed, they left the practice of fasting in December each year, and embraced Ramadan fasting along with the nearly 2 billion other Muslims around the world.

Like Muslims worldwide, they and America’s 3.5 million other Muslims gather for Eid prayers and for festivals featuring fun activities for children and families. These often include such things as face painting and balloon twisting. In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, many people embark on an exodus to their hometown to celebrate the holiday with loved ones.

This year, an estimated 193.6 million travelers are expected to crisscross the vast archipelago for Eid, in a homecoming tradition known locally as “mudik.”

In the past two years of Eidcelebrations, Indonesians crammed into trains, ferries, buses and onto motorcycles as they poured out of major cities amid severe traffic congestion to return to their villages to celebrate the holiday with families.

Flights were overbooked and anxious relatives, weighed down with boxes of gifts, formed long lines at bus and train stations for the journeys. Before the holiday, popular markets teem with shoppers buying clothes, shoes, cookies and sweets.

In Malaysia, Muslims also have a homecoming tradition for Eid. The first day usually begins with a morning prayer in the mosque, seeking forgiveness from family and friends, and visiting loved ones’ graves.

There’s an “open house” spirit that sees friends and families trading visits to celebrate Eid and enjoy traditional delicacies such as ketupat, rice cooked in a palm leaf pouch, and rendang, a meat dish stewed in spices and braised in coconut milk. Older Muslims give money in green packets to children and guests who visit their homes.

In Egypt, families partake in Eid prayers amid a festive atmosphere. Many visit relatives, friends or neighbors and some travel to vacation spots. Children, usually wearing new Eid outfits, receive traditional cash gifts known as “eidiya.”

Making or buying Eid cookies dusted with powdered sugar is another fixture of marking the holiday in the country.

Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed.