CELEBRATIONS have swept through Hampshire to mark one of the biggest events in the Islamic calendar.

Muslims came together yesterday for Eid festivities, marking the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

The day of thanksgiving started worldwide with special prayers, children were given gifts and new clothes, money was donated to charity and people travelled far and wide to be with loved ones.

In Southampton, more than 3,000 people went to the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque in Argyle Road for prayers and breakfast, while 1,500 went to Southampton Medina Mosque in Compton Walk, before spending the afternoon with family.

Many members of the city’s Somalian community enjoyed a feast at the Argyle Road mosque, while the Afghan community gathered for a picnic and barbecue in the New Forest.

Mohammed Khan, secretary of the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque, said: “In Islam, you have to do everything in moderation every other day of the year but on Eid you can eat as much as you want and you can drink as much as you want.”

During Ramadan, the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque raised £1,700 which will go to the people of Gaza.

Throughout the month, 13-year-old Musharaf Hussain read the prayer each night, a task normally taken by an adult.

The celebrations are due to continue on Saturday with an Eid fair at the Ropewalk Community Garden in Derby Road, Southampton, from 11am. Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which will feature a bouncy castle and stalls.