PORTLAND — Muslims from throughout greater Portland gathered at the Portland Expo today to celebrate Eid al Fitr, one of the holiest festivals in Islam marking the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.

The gathering drew several hundred worshippers, who greeted each other with hugs and handshakes. Muslims around the world joined in similar observances.

Muslims have been fasting from sunrise to sundown for the past month, a period that ended at sundown Thursday. The conclusion is marked by today’s holiday which often features family outings and special holiday meals in addition to the morning prayers of thanks.

The observance also calls upon Muslims to give to charity, to support those less fortunate, those whose hunger and thirst doesn’t necessarily end at sundown, said Abdullahi Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Portland, an organizer of today’s event.

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