Many Muslims in Britain celebrated Eid Ul Fitr in July. Eid Ul Fitr marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a month where Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset. Each fast lasts around 18-19 hours and is used as a time to think of the less fortunate, thank God, and detox and train the body and mind. Many Muslims open their fast with a feast with the family.
What is Eid? Eid is a beautiful celebration of food, family and friends, and the equivalent to Christmas for many Muslims. People dress up and visit their loved ones; they attend Mosque to pray and greet each other with ‘Eid Mubarak’ or ‘Happy Eid’, and attend local celebratory events that have been put on for the Muslim and Non Muslim Community.
Eid Festival - image via British Muslim Heritage Centre
We asked some Muslim mums living in Manchester how they celebrate the big day:
Hasina prepares her kids a year in advance so that they can really get excited for the big day. They discuss presents that they will buy for each other, how they will decorate their house, and they plan games and the food menu for the day.
Mehnaz and her family have a traditional breakfast before attending the Eid prayers at the Mosque and coming home to exchange presents. Mehnaz also actively tries to involve her children in the preparation and build-up of Eid. They choose their own new outfits and they call family members to greet them. They also hire out a bouncy castle for the kids and other local kids in the community regardless of their faith.
For Taslima, Eid is an important day to meet family and friends she hasn’t seen for a while. For her, Eid is about togetherness. They enjoy a family meal out in the evening so they can have a night off from cooking.
Gifts to celebrate Eid
Mubina does all the above but also focuses on teaching her children about the spiritual importance of Ramadan and Eid. She shares Eid and Ramadan stories with her children using books and engaging in a discussion so that they understand it all.
Madiha tries to make Eid fun for her baby nephew. She makes an extra effort with food, drink decoration and presents, and makes sure to spend quality time with her family. Madiha thinks by preparing and organising things for Eid, her inner child comes out which makes things more enjoyable for them all.
Mehnaz feels that it is important to celebrate Eid with Muslim and Non Muslim families so that they could show solidarity and unity, and share happy times together. It gives people the opportunity to ask questions and bond with each other and dismiss stereotypes. Taslima agrees and states that it is important for different communities to explore different cultures and practices.
Manchester Eid Festival - image via the The Asian Today
How did Manchester celebrate Eid? In Manchester, being a Multi-Cultural and diverse community, many members of the Muslim community feel that their celebrations should extend to other Non Muslim members of society.
Two events took place this year to celebrate Eid with the wider community. Islamic Relief hosted a two day event at the Manchester United Football ground, and the British Muslim Heritage Centre celebrated with a two day festival in Whalley Range.
Both events attracted thousands of people from all different communities and backgrounds, and consisted of fair ground rides, BBQs, food from all over the world, desserts, gifts and clothing, and pony rides.
How does your family celebrate Eid? Did you attend any of the Manchester festivals? Head over to the Manchester Mums discussion group and let us know your thoughts.