PEI

Eid Mubarak: P.E.I. Muslim community celebrates the end of Ramadan

Members of the Island's Muslim community celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Sunday marked the end of the Muslim holy month

A Muslim man offers Eid al-Fitr prayers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Members of the Muslim community on P.E.I. celebrated the holiday marking the end of Ramadan on Sunday. (Ishara S. Kodirara/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the Island's Muslim community celebrated Eid al-Fitr on Sunday.

The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the year in the lunar calendar.

During Ramadan Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and focus on charity work and prayer.

"It's a very spiritual month," said Zain Esseghaier, spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I.

"There's a lot of community and family oriented activities during that month." 

A time for reflection

Esseghaier said that during Ramadan people reflect on what has happened in the past year, and Eid begins with prayers and a sermon that focuses both on the holy month that has passed and the "hope it will create for the future." 

"Making a commitment to hopefully becoming better Muslims, but also better human beings, better community members for the next year," said Esseghaier.

Zain Esseghaier, spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I., says the focus of Eid celebrations is community and family. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

He said that Eid is one of the most well attended holidays on the Muslim calendar.

"It's a special day because it is basically one of the two Muslim festivals where the community, or the bulk of the community comes together," he said.

"Family comes together and community comes together."

Day full of fun

After the morning prayers on Sunday, tea and sweets were served and games and activities for kids were set up, followed by a community barbecue. 

Esseghaier said that his family has a tradition of eating lunch at home, and exchanging gifts, and this year was special for him.

Zain Esseghaier, spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I., says about 200 people attended the prayers and celebrations at the mosque in Charlottetown on Sunday. (CBC)

"I was fortunate this year to have all my children who came home," he said.

In the evening the community held a potluck supper to wrap up the day's festivities.

'A special place'

Esseghaier said that celebrations vary from place to place, but the emphasis is always on family and community.

"Every place is different, every place is a special place," he said.

He said that for Muslims on the Island, traditions have been created over the years.

"Many of us who have been here for a long period of time, this became part of our lives," he said.

"We celebrate Eid here together, so we have established certain routines and we follow those routines."

Eid al-Fitr ends Monday evening.

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