RELIGION
06/15/2018 16:22 EDT

These Photos Illustrate The Incredible Diversity Of Eid Al-Fitr In America

Muslims are among the country's most racially varied religious groups, so their holidays are too.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayer near Washington, D.C., on June 15.

Eid al-Fitr is a joyous celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and spiritual introspection for Muslims. 

Because Islam has been part of America’s religious landscape since colonial times, Eid has a long history in the U.S. This year it begins on Friday, June 15, and festivities will continue into the weekend. After participating in congregational prayers, Muslims will gather with friends and family to exchange gifts and share special holiday meals. It’s also traditional to give to the poor on Eid. 

Surveys show that no single racial or ethnic group accounts for a majority among the 3.45 million Muslims in the U.S. In fact, Muslims are one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the country. Forty-two percent were born in the U.S.; the other 58 percent came from at least 75 different countries of origin. On Eid, some communities gather by the thousands in sports stadiums, giving people the chance to worship with fellow Muslims of many different backgrounds.

American Muslims have developed their own distinctive ways of marking the holiday, like hosting barbecues in local parks and holding voter registration drives

Below, see American Muslims celebrating Eid this year. 

  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    A Muslim woman prays at Bensonhurst Park in Brooklyn, New York, to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on June 15, 2018.
  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    Maryam Said, 19, Eman Gad, 20, and Hallah Towfiek, 20, get their photos taken after morning prayers at Bensonhurst Park on June 15.
  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    An imam leads Eid al-Fitr prayers at Bensonhurst Park to mark the end of Ramadan on June 15.
  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    Muslims pray at Bensonhurst Park to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.
  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    A Muslim man holds his prayer mat at Bensonhurst Park ahead of Eid al-Fitr prayers.
  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    Muslim women walk along the boardwalk at Bensonhurst Park on June 15.
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers at the end of Ramadan in Lanham, Maryland, near the nation's capital on June 15.
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Muslims gather to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers in Lanham, Maryland, on June 15.
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayers after the end of Ramadan at Toyota Park Stadium in Chicago on June 15.
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayer at Toyota Park Stadium in Chicago on June 15.
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
    Women gather after participating in an outdoor prayer event at Masjid Aqsa-Salam mosque, Manhattan's oldest West African mosque, to mark the end of Ramadan on June 15.
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
    Muslims participate in an outdoor prayer event at Masjid Aqsa-Salam mosque, an annual gathering in Harlem that attracts hundreds of worshippers.
  • Spencer Platt via Getty Images
    Women greet each other after participating in an outdoor prayer event at Masjid Aqsa-Salam mosque in New York City.
  • Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
    Muslim families shop at Toys 'R' Us after Eid al-Fitr prayers in Brooklyn on June 15.
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