Muslim worshippers from around the world who now call southern Maine home gathered at the Portland Expo on Saturday morning to celebrate Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice.

Hundreds gathered in long rows, men separate from women, as they recited prayers and listened to a sermon.

“They’re making prayers for world peace, coexistence and equality,” said Abdullahi Ahmed, a Somali community leader.

The ceremony observes Abraham’s obedience to God as demonstrated by his willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. The observance is traditionally accompanied by making a sacrifice and giving to the needy.

The occasion also marks the end of the hajj, when pilgrims gather in Mecca. The Eid al-Adha ceremony is one of two observed by Muslims worldwide, the other being the Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

In Portland, the Muslim community is small enough that just about everyone can gather in one location. Worshippers often dress in new clothes, depending on their particular tradition.

Bashar Mahdi, who came to the United States from Iraq four years ago, said the Eid al-Adha observance in Portland is more integrated, not only by nationality but by different denominations within Islam. He also said men and women did not intermingle as much when he took part in observances in Iraq.

After the religious ceremony, people celebrate with family and friends at home, Mahdi said.

Pious Ali, a member of the Portland School Board originally from Ghana, said the observance is a chance for people who do not see each other very often to reconnect.

“It’s very important for us to come together in a setting like this,” he said. “People check in and share information” about their lives.