The Muslim world is marking the end of Ramadan and it is boom time for sweet makers in Istanbul with the start of the Sugar Festival, the name given in Turkey to the three day celebrations of Eid.
Throughout Turkey it is a centuries-old tradition to offer sweets to guests. Times though are changing.
“Old Eid festivals were different. It is now fashionable to go on holiday rather than stay at home – my two sons are on holiday and so are my siblings. Me and my wife are alone. We miss the old Eid festivals,” said Yasar Timur
Muslims in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank are preparing for Eid. For some, the celebrations will take on a greater significance. Israel is set to release the first batch of Palestinian prisoners before peace talks are held next week.
“We wish that Eid will come and bring us joy and the release of all our arrested prisoners and all occupied cities, in God’s will,” said Gaza resident Mohammed Abu Shaaban.
Throughout Pakistan, shoppers have been preparing for the festival. Rising prices are one concern but a deeper worry is the threat of terror attacks. Security has been stepped up with special measures adopted in markets, mosques and other places of worship.
“Anything can happen at any time. A blast can occur and the situation can get bad all of a sudden. These are the fears that you have when you leave your house,” explained one shopper, Samreen Hidayat.
In some of the big cities, dress designers and entrepreneurs have set up special Eid bazaars but they say this year the response has been disappointing compared to other years.