Most Middle Eastern countries and some Asian nations began observances Tuesday, with prayers, feasts and visits to graves of loved ones.
Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd and Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri joined prayers in Mecca. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appeared at televised public prayers in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been recuperating from a recent illness.
Because the start of the holiday depends on when local clerics sight the new moon, Muslims in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and parts of Iraq will begin the three-day festivities Wednesday. Some countries began celebrating the holiday on Monday.
President Bush sent a message of greetings to the world’s Muslims, and called on people of all faiths to work for peace, and reflect on the shared values of love of family, respect for diversity and commitment to religious freedom.