In pictures: From Gaza to Indonesia – Eid al-Fitr celebrations around the world

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Muslims have begun celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan with solemn sunrise prayers followed by savoury high-calorie feasts to mark their holiest holiday.

Thursday's celebrations come despite concerns over violence looming in parts of Asia and elsewhere.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, throngs of believers went to mosques for the start of Eid al-Fitr. The three-day festivities end a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayer for Muslims. The holiday is also a time of reflection, forgiveness and charity.

Eid also shows unity among the Muslim community across the world, with a special prayer either offered in an open field or a hall. As part of the celebrations money is given to the poor and needy. Muslims are encouraged to forgive any differences they may have had with others during the year. The celebrations mark the end of Ramadan but it is in fact forbidden to fast on Eid.

Some countries remain on heightened alert for potential violence. The US closed diplomatic posts in 19 cities in the Muslim world this week after warning that al-Qa'ida or its allies might target either US government or private American interests.

People walk through sand to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Parang Kusumo beach, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population People walk through sand to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Parang Kusumo beach  

People walk through sand to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Parang Kusumo beach, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta August. Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population and celebrates Eid al-Fitr with mass prayers and family visits to mark the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan People walk through sand to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers in Indonesia

A child poses in front of her house after attending Eid al-Fitr prayers near Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta A child poses in front of her house after attending Eid al-Fitr prayers near Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta  

Palestinians attend Eid al-Fitr prayers in Gaza City. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan Palestinians attend Eid al-Fitr prayers in Gaza City  

Afghans take part in morning prayers on Eid-al-Fitr outside the Shah-e Doh Shamshira mosque in Kabul. The Eid al-Fitr festival marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan Afghans take part in morning prayers on Eid-al-Fitr outside the Shah-e Doh Shamshira mosque  

A vendor looks on from his stall after closing it, as Muslims shop ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival in the old quarters of Delhi A vendor looks on from his stall after closing it ahead of Eid al-Fitr festival in Delhi  

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