Thousands gather in Calgary as Ramadan ends

The BMO Centre in Calgary was packed today as Muslims gathered to mark the end of Ramadan.

Calgary's Mayor Naheed Nenshi among those celebrating Eid — a day of feasting that marks the end of Ramadan

Roughly 20,000 people took part in Islamic celebrations in Calgary this morning that commemorate the end of Ramadan. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

The BMO Centre in Calgary was packed today as Muslims gathered to mark the end of Ramadan. 

The group came together to pray and celebrate Eid — a day of feasting — after a month of fasting to help renew their spirits, prayers and devotion.

Organizer Ghazanfar Zafar estimated 20,000 people joined the festivities held on the Calgary Stampede grounds.

"It's phenomenal. We get to see them once a year like this and this is where we feel proud to be part of such a large community here," he said.

"We consider it a boot camp for the rest of the months. So what you're during for the month of Ramadan, you should be doing for the rest of the year as well."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke to the large gathering — using the flood as an example to show how important it is to volunteer and support your neighbour.

"Muslims can also reflect on that and think about additional ways that they can use their own hands and hearts to help the community," he said.

Prayers were also held at several other halls and community centres in the city.