West-London’s Muslim community celebrated the end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Eid-al-Fitr, with prayers and games and food in Ealing Common on Sunday 25 June.
The month of Ramadan ended in the evening of Saturday 24 June at 9.25pm at sunset, and an estimated 10,000 people joined together in Ealing Common for a family day out.
The event started with communal Eid prayers at 10am, after which, the funfair and stalls opened for use from 11am until 7pm.
Organisers, Eid4All state, “The majority of the attendees are youngsters with one or two accompanying parent, and most these are from the Somali communities living in Ealing and Hillingdon boroughs, although a significant percentage also travel from other parts of the city.”
Charity was still an important part of the festivities, and Muslims were able to pay their ‘zakat-ul-fite’, monetary charity given to the poor at the end of the fasting, before the Eid prayers.
A visitor, Sarah Kayouche, 31, shared why she came to the event with her friend Nawel Lamari, 29, and their children:
“We’re happy we came to entertain the kids, to take them to where we can find a funfair, bouncy castle and things they can play with. We’re with other people from the same communities and same countries.”
“We’re not fasting today – so everyone is excited to eat.”
Sarah said the month of fasting went quickly for her, but the last few days were hard:
“You think a lot about how you’re going to be patient and stop yourself from eating what we want. Drinking – especially when there were hot days – it was a bit hard last week because it was sunny.”
Both ladies said they felt rewarded by the experience and were even continuing their fasting for another six days. Sarah states:
“I’m glad we did it and we’re going to fast another six days – we call these six extra days the ‘patience days’. You try to prove to yourself that you are patient even through Ramadan has ended. That is rewarding.
“It’s not just about food, it’s about your behavior – how you talk to people. If someone used to do bad deeds, then you try in the month of Ramadan to stop. It includes bad habits and everything. You change yourself from what you were, to be better.”
There are post-Eid events happening in various locations. One of the largest events is the Eid Festival 2017 in London’s Trafalgar Square on Sunday 2nd July from 12am to 6pm. This free event is organised by the Mayor of London. Find out more about what’s on at https://www.london.gov.uk/events/2017-07-02/eid-festival-2017.
Published in The Chiswick Herald