Big festival marks end of Ramadan
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.