'Eid Al-Fitr', which crowns a month of fasting, prayers and Qur’an recitation, started on Sunday, September 20, in most Arab and Muslim countries as well as in North America and Europe.
Saudi religious authorities confirmed the sighting of the moon of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
"Thus, Saturday is the last day of Ramadan and Sunday will be the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr," the Saudi Judicial Council said in a statement.
Similar announcements were made in the Gulf Cooperation Council members Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Egypt’s Mufti Ali Gomaa also announced the start of the Muslim feast on Sunday.
Authorities in Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Tunsia, Algeria, Yemen and Iran also confirmed Sunday as the first day of `Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Iraq’s Sunnis will also celebrate `Eid Sunday, according to the Sunni Religious Authority.
Lebanon's Shiites and Sunnis will unite in celebrating the three-day `Eid.
In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, the Religious Affairs Ministry announced that Sunday will be the first day of `Eid.
The Muslim feast will also be celebrated Sunday in Malaysia, according to the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal.
The South Korea Muslim Federation said Muslims in the country will celebrate `Eid on Sunday.
In Japan, the Roue`t e Hilal committee also confirmed Sunday as the first day of `Eid el-Fitr, one of the two main Islamic religious festivals together with `Eid Al-Adha.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) announced on its website that `Eid will be on Sunday.
Thai Muslims will also celebrate `Eid on Sunday, according to the Provincial Islamic Religious Councils.
`Eid for South Africa’s Muslims will be on Sunday, according to Jamiatul Ulama.
Malawi Muslims will also celebrate `Eid on Sunday, according to the Muslim Association of Malawi.
In Australia, the Board of Imams of Victoria announced that the `Eid will be on Sunday.
Sunday in Europe, America
British Muslims will also celebrate the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday, announced the Regents Park Mosque and the UK Ruyate Hilal Committee.
Turkey had earlier announced Sunday as the start of `Eid based on astronomical calculations.
The majority of Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia and Russia had decided to follow Turkey.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) earlier announced that the first day of `Eid will be in Europe on Sunday based on astronomical calculations.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) also announced that `Eid will fall on Sunday.
During `Eid, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for `Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.
The festivities and merriment start after special prayers to mark the day.
Libya already celebrated `Eid Al-Fitr on Saturday.
A few countries will celebrate the start of the Muslim feast on Monday.
Oman and Morocco announced that the moon of Shawwal could not be sighted on Saturday.
Thus, the first day of 'Eid' will be on Monday.
'Eid' will also start in Mauritius on Monday, according to the Jummah Mosque Society.
Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan will sight the moon of Shawwal on Sunday. Thus, Eid will fall either on Monday or Tuesday.
Moon sighting have always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.
While one group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow the same moon sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night, another states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.
A third, however, disputes both views, arguing that the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.
This usually causes confusion among Muslims, particularly in the West, on observing the dawn-to-dusk fasting and celebrating the 'Eid Al-Fitr'.