Eid parade brings light and joy during difficult time

·2 min read

Muslims in the Moncton area gathered in vehicles in the Moncton Coliseum parking lot Thursday morning for a prayer, ceremony and car parade for Eid.

Eid is a celebration that comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a month that involves fasting during the day.

Eid is a celebration of breaking that fast, said Abdal Khan, president of Moncton Muslim Association. It is also a time to thank the creator, spend time with family and feast.

“This year’s event was just out of this world amazing,” said Abdal Khan, president of Moncton Muslim Association, adding that the association held a similar event last year, when the province was also under pandemic restrictions, but this one is much bigger.

At 8:45 a.m., attendees prayed together, there was a ceremony and then it was time for everyone to get their cars ready with balloons and signs, said Khan.

Ali Ettarnichr spoke to the Times & Transcript while getting his car ready, attaching balloons with his son, Yacob, just before joining the parade.

“In Ramadan we feel the thirst that poor people have. We were feeling the hunger and thirst by choice, but many do not have this choice. We are reminded to appreciate what we have,” he said.

He said seeing friends for this celebration, even if they must stay a few feet apart is still special.

There is a lot to be grateful for on this day, he said. He said he is grateful to the community for creating this opportunity to see each other and to see everyone happy.

“This is a special day,” he said. “We see children happy, smiling, this is exciting to see.”

While Moncton attendees are glad to have this chance to gather, this Eid has a sad cloud over it, said Khan, because many in the community are hurting as conflict unfolds in Israel-Palestine.

His son, Abdullah Khan, said he has been thinking about the difficulties around the world due to the pandemic and Palestinians and others around the world who cannot pray freely and safely this Ramadan and Eid.

Eid is about coming together and celebrating after a hardship, said Abdullah khan. It is about appreciating the privileges we have and spending time together.

As the parade took off, making a line through the parking lot, many honked horns, wishing each other well-wishes. Attendees received a sack of treats while exiting the parade handed out by organizers wearing gloves. Everyone was wearing masks while outside their vehicles and cars were parked several feet apart from each other giving each family lots of room to decorate.

The parking lot parade concluded just as an emergency alert was issued related to a situation involving shots fired in the Centennial Park area. Attendees had left the area.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal