MUSLIMS across East Lancashire donned their finest clothes and went out to begin their Eid ul Fitr celebrations yesterday.

Mosques across the county were full to the rafters in the morning as people joined together to participate in congregational prayers.

Between 1,200 and 1,500 worshippers packed into the new mosque in Stoneyholme, in Burleigh Street, to pray together.

And in Pendle, in the new mosque in Brierfield, more than 1,000 people also gathered to worship.

But Pendle councillor Azhar Ali said that Eid in Pendle was tinged with sadness this year, due to the death of two men in an accident on the M65 over the weekend.

He said: “Eid has been really good with the good weather, but it has been tinged with sadness due to the tragic car crash on Saturday morning, involving one man from Brierfield and one man from Nelson, they were people everyone knew.

“People have still been visiting their families, their families are still waiting for news from the post-mortem, and the burial is later this week, so it’s been a bit of a mixed Eid.”

After morning prayers, people celebrating Eid gave gifts to children, and sat down to eat with close friends and family members.

Most Muslims will have been fasting for Ramadan, and so the Eid meals will have been the first they have eaten during daylight hours in a month.

After afternoon prayers those celebrating then took to East Lancashire’s sunny streets to visit friends and extended family members, enjoying traditional food at every house.

Burnley councillor Shah Hussain spent time with his immediate family in the morning, then spent the day visiting friends and family members across the town.

He said: “All the mosques have been busy, people celebrate in their own way, but most people tend to be with family.

“It’s been an enjoyable day, I’ve been spending time with extended family, and went to see my uncle and parents.”