Eid al Adha celebrated with fervour in Muscat

Eid al Adha, which started with special prayers, was celebrated across the Sultanate on Tuesday. Despite the scorching afternoon heat, mosques across the country saw people in large numbers, including men, women and children. People heaved a sigh of relief that the annual Haj rituals concluded peacefully.
“We always have this fear with Haj because it is a gathering of a large number of people and there have been some unpleasant incidents in the past. This year, it has been incident-free and safe. We are happy,’’ said Saif, whose relatives were visiting Saudi Arabia this year. Despite malls and hypermarkets flourishing across the country, people still preferred to shop in the traditional style.
No wonder, souqs in Muttrah and Seeb witnessed huge footfalls over the weekend, causing minor traffic blocks at times.
“Both malls and souqs have their purposes and we shop as per the requirements,’’ said Zeenah, a communications executive.
She said the souqs may be selling more of imported stuff these days, but they still keep some traditional items.
Eid festivities were celebrated with a traditional feast, with people visiting friends and relatives at homes.
“The best way is to celebrate at home, inviting friends and relatives. Every year, we take turns in hosting the Eid lunch,” said Suleiman al Hinai from Suhar.
Non-Muslim expatriates thronged the tourist destinations, with some popular resorts reporting near full occupancy.
Nizwa Fort, Nakhl water springs, Ras al Jinz turtle reserve, Masirah Island and the land border crossing for Dubai reported heavy footfalls on the first four days, including the last weekend.