Manitobans celebrate end of Ramadan with Eid prayer and festival
Eid prayer underway Wednesday, family-friendly festival planned for July 16
After a month of fasting for Ramadan, Winnipeg's Muslim community is ready for a big feast.
The Manitoba Islamic Association, Winnipeg Central Mosque and Winnipeg Islamic Centre (Bilal Centre) are preparing for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan on Wednesday.
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Eid al-Fitr is a holiday to celebrate the completion of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic faith. Ramadan requires fasting from sunrise to sunset with no food or water.
Manitoba Muslim leader Shahina Siddiqui has spent days cooking her own concoction of eggplant, cherry tomatoes, green peppers and chickpeas with a touch of cumin.
Cooking while fasting presents challenges, she said.
"The thing that I fear the most is that I'll miss salt, or I'll put the wrong spice in the wrong dish," she said with a laugh. "So far it hasn't. God has been merciful."
Siddiqui has cooked for Eid for the past 30 years.
"It used to be just family and a few friends, and then it grew and grew. Now we have people from all communities coming, because we have friends from everywhere," she said.
The holiday includes a number of events, including an Eid prayer on Wednesday at the Winnipeg convention centre. The program started at 8:30 a.m.
The Eid Festival takes place July 16 from 4-10 p.m. at the Winnipeg Grand Mosque. The event includes bouncy castles, hay rides, a petting zoo, food, fireworks and a dunk tank.
"We don't go to too much expense about it, because it's to remember what is fasting all about … those who don't have food or water to fill the empathy for it," Siddiqui said.