Pakistanis gear up for Eid-al-Fitr amid rising prices

A woman takes a photo of textiles while shopping at The Centaurus mall, ahead of Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Islamabad, Pakistan May 22, 2019. (Photo by Reuterts)

Thousands of Pakistanis, thronging markets for Eid-al-Fitr shopping on Thursday, were dismayed by the prices of clothes, shoes and trinkets on sale.

Eid-al-Fitr, the "festival of breaking the fast" is one of the two major religious festivals of Islam and marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The Festival, sometimes also called 'Sweet Eid' because of the sweets that are shared among friends and relatives on the occasion, begins with the sighting of the moon of the Islamic month of Shawwal.

The last week of Ramadan normally sees a shopping frenzy with families thronging to markets soon after 'iftar' (breaking of fast at sunset) in search of clothes, costume jewelry, shoes and bangles to wear during the three days of the festival.

However, this year most customers appeared to be dismayed by the high prices of the items that are considered Eid 'essentials'. Many said prices had doubled as Eid-al-Fitr approached.

The Pakistani government has announced a 4-days public holiday (from Tuesday , June 4 to Friday June 7) for Eid-al-Fitr, which will most likely be celebrated on Wednesday (June 5).

Pakistan is a per-dominantly Muslim country where more than ninety percent of its 208 million people practice Islam.

(Source: Reuters)

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