Turkish Cypriots and other Muslims across Cyprus celebrated the beginning of Eid al-Adha, one of the two main festivals on the Muslim calendar, on Sunday.

The festival is celebrated during the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhu al-Hijja, during which many Muslims from across the world make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Eid al-Adha begins with prayers, which were performed in Cyprus at 6.10am.

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar is due to open his official residence in northern Nicosia to the public on Sunday morning, while the north’s ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel also met with members of his party, the UBP, earlier on Sunday morning.

Earlier, the Turkish Cypriot police had warned members of the public to not drive under the influence of alcohol, and to obey traffic rules during the holiday.

“While driving, you must completely let go of your mobile phones, which we never let go of in our lives, but which cause traffic accidents while distracting us while driving,” they said, while also reminding drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts.

Meanwhile, the north’s religious officials’ association chairman Gokhan Inik said the festival is “an opportunity to strengthen social unity and solidarity”.

“The best way to show unity and solidarity is to reach out to people in need and ensure that they, too, experience the holiday atmosphere,” he said.

He also encouraged people to attend recitals of the Takbir at-Tashreeq, which takes place in mosques across the world from the day before the beginning of Eid, in this case Saturday, until the fourth day of the festival, Wednesday.