Residents of Mecca at a mall ahead of Eid. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Markets in the Saudi holy city of Mecca is experiencing a peak shopping season with the advent of the Muslim Eid Al Fitr festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Residents and visitors are shopping for the Eid goodies at the city’s commercial centres to buy perfumes, sweets, clothes and toys in preparation for the festival beginning on Wednesday in the kingdom.

Known as Saudi Arabia’s Holy Capital, Mecca is home to Islam’s most sacred place, the Grand Mosque, a major destination for Muslims from around the globe.

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Stores, displaying the Eid-related merchandise, have put up competitive offers to attract customers in the run-up to the festival, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

An Eid staple and an established feature are sweets, presented to well-wishers and visitors during the three-day festival.

Confectionery shops in Mecca are displaying offers on a wide variety of chocolates. Some stores display traditional Hejazi sweets that are popular with the Eid celebrants.

Municipal authorities in Mecca have, meanwhile, readied mosques and open-air places to receive worshippers to perform special Eid prayers on the morning of the first day.

Ramadan usually marks the peak of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque that has witnessed the flocking of the faithful in large numbers from outside the kingdom due to a host of facilities recently introduced by Saudi authorities for undertaking Umrah.

The lunar month is followed by Eid Al Fitr, celebrated as of the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.