by Greta Yeoman
The South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society is set to celebrate Eid.
The Muslim festival, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fasting period, will be celebrated by the society and the wider public on June 9.
Organiser Janish Kareem, who is Muslim and a member of the Indian Cultural Society, said it would be the first time Eid celebrations in South Canterbury had been extended to the wider public.
Formally known as Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” is usually celebrated the day after Ramadan finishes – marked by the sighting of the new moon.
“Everyone knows about Diwali . . . [now] They will know what Eid is.”
Mr Kareem said while Eid would officially be celebrated about June 4, or whenever the new moon was sighted, the Timaru Eid celebrations would be held at the weekend.
“[It will be] the first time to celebrate it here.”
While Ramadan is known for the month-long Muslim practice of fasting during daylight hours, it is also a time for Muslims to focus on gratitude, forgiveness, charity, joy, empathy and prayer, Mr Kareem said.
Fasting was both a spiritual practice and one that enabled Muslims to empathise with people around the world who would go hungry, he said.
The Eid celebrations would be held at the Timaru Savage Club Hall, in Dee St, from 5.30pm to about 8pm.
The event would include a meal, using the popular rice and meat dish biryani, which is made differently depending on if it were made in India, the Middle East or elsewhere, Mr Kareem said.
Younger residents would also receive Eidi, which are presents given to children on Eid, he said.
There would also be dancing, some of which those attending could join, as well as music and games.
South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society president Geeta Muralidharan said Eid would be celebrated in South Canterbury every year, along with Hindu Diwali celebrations and Christian Christmas events.
“Everyone knows about Diwali . . . [now] they will know what Eid is.”
Mr Kareem said this year’s Eid event had been limited to 100 tickets.
“Maybe time next we will mark in a bigger way.”