Calgary

Calgary Muslims celebrate Eid COVID-19-style

It’s supposed to be a colourful three-day celebration of family, friends and parties but Eid looks a lot different this year.

Drive-thru events and virtual celebrations replaced traditional get-togethers this year

Calgarians are celebrating Eid in new ways this year. 0:52

It's supposed to be a colourful three-day celebration of family, friends and parties, but Eid in Calgary looks a lot different this year.

Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Breaking the Fast, follows the holy month of Ramadan. Tens of thousands of Muslim families, friends and neighbours typically spend time together and share food after a month of fasting and prayer.

But this year, social distancing means finding new ways to do things, with most Eid prayers and gatherings cancelled.

A Muslim family leaves the Eid event with a string of balloons. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

The Al-Salam Centre in northwest Calgary held a drive-thru celebration on Sunday, with volunteers in masks and gloves using trash pickers to hand out goodie bags to kids through car windows. People decorated their vehicles with banners, balloons and signs, blasting horns and using the popular greeting "Eid Mubarak."

"The kids are the ones who are missing it the most so we decided to do something creative," said Ibrahim Jadalowen.

The event was such a success, volunteers ran out of the 800 goody bags they'd made and had to scramble to put more together.

Cars decorated with colourful signs and balloons circled the parking lot at the Al-Salam Centre for a special, physically distant celebration. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

As well as the drive-thru, the Calgary branch of the Muslim Association of Canada held a virtual celebration with artists and performers taking Eid online.

"We decided to take Eid to their homes, from their houses where they can celebrate in a safe place," said Jadalowen.

Eid wraps up on Tuesday.

You can see more photos of the Eid drive-thru below:

A volunteer makes bubbles at the Eid celebration in northwest Calgary. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)
A sign attached to the side of one of hundreds of cars at a drive-thru event to celebrate Eid. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)
A volunteer uses a trash picker to safely deliver goodie bags to families in a parade of cars. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)
A sign reads ‘happy Eid.’ (Dan McGarvey/CBC)
Hundreds of decorated cars lined the streets around the Al-Salam Centre. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)
A boy peers out of a parked vehicle waiting for goodie bags as part of Eid celebrations. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)
A woman wearing a mask helps organize traffic and hand out goodie bags to kids. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

About the Author

Dan McGarvey

Journalist

Dan McGarvey is a mobile journalist focused on filing stories remotely for CBC Calgary’s web, radio, TV and social media platforms, only using an iPhone and mobile tech. You can email story ideas and tips to Dan at: dan.mcgarvey@cbc.ca or tweet him @DanMcGarvey

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