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The simple pleasures of Eid: Family, flowers and piles of sweets

By Sarah Brown and Stina Backer, for CNN
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
During an Eid spent in India, Laurens Meulman, 35, from the Netherlands, spotted an irresistible photo-opportunity after she'd been invited to share food with a family in a square behind the Taj Mahal. "The henna-painted hands of one of the women in the group caught my eye and I asked her if I could to take a photo," she said. During an Eid spent in India, Laurens Meulman, 35, from the Netherlands, spotted an irresistible photo-opportunity after she'd been invited to share food with a family in a square behind the Taj Mahal. "The henna-painted hands of one of the women in the group caught my eye and I asked her if I could to take a photo," she said.
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Hands on at Taj Mahal
Dress to impress
Old Delhi food rush
Feeding Cape Town
Fruits, treats and temples
Streets of brotherly love
Eid Brooklyn style
Sweet tooth in Benghazi
Rows of silence
Waving the flag for Eid
Henna on the beach
Eid traditions in Trinidad and Tobago
Eid in a refugee camp
A very special Eid family portrait
Spectacular shopping center decorations
The long journey home
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eid, or Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in Islam
  • We asked for readers' best Eid memories and photos via CNN iReport
  • Photos showing local Eid celebrations flooded in from Trinidad and Tobago to India
  • Food, family, celebration and charity were some of the most important themes

(CNN) -- For the world's Muslims, the festival of Eid al-Fitr is a perfect conclusion to Ramadan -- the month-long period of fasting and contemplation practiced by observers of Islam around the globe. One of the most festive periods in the religion's calendar, Eid is often commemorated with large feasts, family-time, and through charitable acts and donations.

As part of CNN's series celebrating the most spectacular festivals and events across the globe, we asked our readers to share their images of Eid traditions, both past and present. In response, we discovered a rich narrative of the holiday, and customs as diverse as the people who celebrate them.

For Yassir O. Nassif in Saudi Arabia, Eid means measuring his three-year-old son Mazin up for new clothes, in this case a brand new customized thobe, a traditional ankle length garment commonly worn in Gulf countries. But the holiday is not just about the outfits -- it's about the family, he says.

Sweet Eid: Breaking the fast with world's tastiest treats

Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, arrives in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21. It's a time when bonfires are lit, traditional songs are sung and more often than not, clothes come off. Robban Kanto and his friends, who celebrated the longest day in Zinkgruvan in Sweden last year, couldn't resist a quick skinny-dip before the night was up. Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, arrives in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21. It's a time when bonfires are lit, traditional songs are sung and more often than not, clothes come off. Robban Kanto and his friends, who celebrated the longest day in Zinkgruvan in Sweden last year, couldn't resist a quick skinny-dip before the night was up.
Solstice celebrations around the world
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How do you welcome summer? How do you welcome summer?
For the first few weeks in July, night skies on both sides of the Atlantic are lit up by spectacular fireworks -- from America's 4th July to Bastille Day in France, with a host of international fireworks competitions in between. To honor this pyrotechnic frenzy, we asked you to send us some of your sparkiest fireworks shots from across the world.
Marcia Taylor's day job, as a British Airways' cabin crew member, takes her all over the world -- but the 27-year-old never travels anywhere without her camera. Believe it or not but this was her first time shooting fireworks. She traveled to Paris especially for the fireworks on Bastille Day last year.
"It was a disco theme, the music started and as soon as the fireworks began the crowd had a fantastic atmosphere, every single person was on their feet singing along not taking their eyes of the fireworks," she says. For the first few weeks in July, night skies on both sides of the Atlantic are lit up by spectacular fireworks -- from America's 4th July to Bastille Day in France, with a host of international fireworks competitions in between. To honor this pyrotechnic frenzy, we asked you to send us some of your sparkiest fireworks shots from across the world. Marcia Taylor's day job, as a British Airways' cabin crew member, takes her all over the world -- but the 27-year-old never travels anywhere without her camera. Believe it or not but this was her first time shooting fireworks. She traveled to Paris especially for the fireworks on Bastille Day last year. "It was a disco theme, the music started and as soon as the fireworks began the crowd had a fantastic atmosphere, every single person was on their feet singing along not taking their eyes of the fireworks," she says.
Beginner's luck