Christchurch Muslim community joined the rest of New Zealand to celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitra on Tuesday, 3 May with the morning prayers offered at the Pioneer Stadium, Christchurch.
Eid-Ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is celebrated worldwide with gusto and fervor.
All over Christchurch, there were four different Eid prayer sessions organised by different Muslim organisations. Besides the 3000-strong Muslim community, the prayers were also attended by several dignitaries and even non-Muslim members from the wider community.
Traditionally, worshippers all around the world, begin their day by offering morning prayers, and then get together with friends and family to greet each other and exchange gifts. A somber part of the day is to remembering and paying tributes to those who have departed.
A traditional feast is also held on this day, with delicacies prepared in a traditional manner.
Liyaqat, a worshipper who attended the prayers told us, “It is the time for the families and extended families to come together, open your fast together and offering prayers. It's a very beautiful feeling."
There will also be celebrations and get-togethers held by the different Muslim and ethnic organizations in Canterbury over the next two to three weeks, with the big event taking place on Saturday, 7 May at The Commons in central Christchurch.
The event is being organised by Asturlab Cultural Centre in association with the Muslim Association of Canterbury with support from ChristchurchNZ and Christchurch City Council.
This event will be the first time that Eid celebrations are taking place in outdoor setting. The event which will have presence of several dignitaries promises to be lovely autumn evening filled with traditional festive sounds, food and lights.
After the horrific events of 15 March 2019, everyone in Canterbury has stood up for cultural harmony alongside the Muslim community, and their active participation in the cultural events is a testament to the spirit of the city.
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