Eid Mubarak Canterbury!
The Canterbury Muslim Community Trust, which represents over 3,250 Muslims from 40 different nationalities, who have made Christchurch their new home, organised Eid celebrations in the North New Brighton Community Centre on July 10, 2016. Rob Dewhirst, chairman of the Trust informed, "With celebrations like these, our aim is to build bridges between members of the Muslim community in Canterbury and build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims."
On Ramadhan and Eid
Every year when Ramadhan comes around, most non-muslims around me responds with a sympathetic look and the almost compulsory, "Not even water?”. I just smiled and think, "No, but you don't understand, it's more than that....”
Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. This means that it is obligatory for Muslims to observe it, if they are capable. During this time, Muslims observing Ramadhan refrain from eating, drinking and sexual intimacy from dawn to dusk.
Ramadan is like a Warrant of Fitness for us, it is not just refraining from eating from dawn to dusk. You are forced to check yourself, and refrain from offending or hurting anyone or their feelings in any way. Not easy to do when you're hungry! It teaches discipline, self-control, sacrifice, compassion, and makes me reflect on my priorities and relationship with the Creator and the universe around me.
Significance of Eid
Eid ul-Fitr is the celebration to mark the end of Ramadhan. Muslims start the day of Eid with a special prayer together with the community. The diversity of the Muslim community is on full display here, where thousands from every ethnic group you can imagine join in remembrance and love for one another and for God.
Eid is typically spent with visits to (and from!) relatives and friends’s homes, enjoying each other's company, food and strengthening our sense of belonging with one another. A beautiful part of this tradition is how we will ask forgiveness from one another for hurting each other in any way, especially to our parents. For the childre it is their favourtie time of the year! They eagerly receive money packets, sweets and presents and it is especially rewarding for those who tried their hand at some fasting.