Big fes­ti­val marks end of Ra­madan

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Around 10,000 Mus­lims are ex­pected to unite next week­end for the third an­nual Auck­land Eid Day.

The Eid al-Fir fes­ti­val is an op­por­tu­nity for Mus­lims to come to­gether for a day of prayer and cel­e­bra­tion.

The fes­ti­val also marks the end of the 30-day fast through the Is­lamic holy month of Ra­madan.

Ra­madan is the ninth month of the Mus­lim cal­en­dar in which fast­ing is ob­served from sun­rise to sun­set.

It ends when fol­low­ers sight the new moon for the first time at the end of the month.

It is ex­pected to oc­cur on Au­gust 9, but if the new moon is not vis­i­ble it will con­tinue for an­other day.

On the last day the Eid alFitr cer­e­mony will be held at the ASB Show­grounds where Mus­lims from around Auck­land will gather and pray.

For Mus­lims world­wide, the Eid fes­ti­val is con­sid­ered one of the most ex­cit­ing days on the Is­lamic cal­en­dar, pro­ject man­ager Hady Os­man says.

‘‘Through Auck­land Eid Day, we wanted to give our com­mu­nity an Eid to look for­ward to and re­mem­ber right here in Auck­land,’’ Mr Os­man says.

‘‘For the past two years, we’ve been very suc­cess­ful in do­ing that and only con­tinue to grow.’’

The in­au­gu­ral event in 2011 at­tracted 3500 peo­ple, and last year’s event brought to­gether more than 7000 at Eden Park.

This month’s event is ex­pected to draw up to 10,000 peo­ple.

There are an es­ti­mated 40,000 Mus­lims in New Zealand, the ma­jor­ity liv­ing in Auck­land.

The Auck­land Eid Day will be­gin with a tra­di­tional prayer fol­lowed by a wide va­ri­ety of games, food stalls, ed­u­ca­tional dis­plays, cul­tural per­for­mances, buskers and guest speak­ers.

Auck­land Eid Day will be held on Au­gust 9 or 10 (lu­nar de­pen­dent), from 8am to 4pm at the ASB Show­grounds, and is open to the pub­lic.

Mass prayer: Mus­lims from across Auck­land come to­gether at Eden Park to start off the Eid 2012 cel­e­bra­tions with Eid prayers, be­fore in­dulging in the day’s many fes­tiv­i­ties.

Fam­ily fun: As a fam­ily based event, Auck­land Eid Day caters to chil­dren and fam­ily mem­bers of all ages.

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