Winnipeggers celebrate end of Ramadan with Eid Festival

Up to 2,000 Winnipeggers are expected to celebrate the end of Ramadan at the Waverley Grand Mosque Saturday.

Bouncy castles, clowns, fireworks part of celebrations to mark end of fast

Children got pony rides as part of the Eid Festival at the Waverley Grand Mosque Saturday. (CBC)

Up to 2,000 Winnipeggers are expected to celebrate the end of Ramadan at the Waverley Grand Mosque Saturday.

Children play at the Eid Festival Saturday at the Waverley Grand Mosque. (CBC)
The Manitoba Islamic Association is holding the Eid Festival, which marks the end of a month of fasting between sunrise and sunset.

MIA events co:ordinator Mariam Arunkiet said everyone is welcome to celebrate whether they are Muslim or not. 

"This is a diverse country, a diverse community," she said. "We like to celebrate and welcome anybody else to celebrate with us."

She said the fast that just ended was among the longest she's ever done, because the days were 18 hours long. 

"It was time-wise the most difficult, but also the most rewarding," she said.

Mariam Arunkiet, who helped organize the Eid Festival, said the fast that just ended was difficult because the days are so long, but it was the most rewarding spiritually. (CBC)
It's difficult physically, but the rewards are spiritual, she explained.  

"You spend more time with you and your connection with God and try to build that side of yourself," she said. 

Arunkiet said a number of non-Muslim Winnipeggers usually come out to the event, judging from emails saying thank you afterwards. 

The event also features bouncy castles, clowns and pony rides for the children.

The Eid Festival ends with fireworks at 10 p.m.