" Eid is a celebration of the holiest month of the Islamic calendar., " Ghada Al - Shurafa of Waterloo, a member of the local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada, told The Record.
“It ' s the exchange of gifts and presents, enjoying food and celebrating with family and friends. ”
Along with thousands from the Muslim community, Al - Shurafa awaits the ` eid prayers and celebrations planned next August 8 at the Kitchener Auditorium.
She will join her family and friends at the celebration of ` Eid, the first time a mass event will be held at the Aud to mark the end of Ramadan.
" It ' s just like Christmas, " said the mother of three.
The Muslim Association of Canada holds a mass ` Eid festival at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto each year.
This is the first time an ` Eid festival of this scale will be held in Kitchener.
The Waterloo - Wellington ` Eid Festivals is also planning another ` Eid celebration in October at the Aud, marking ` Eid al - Adha.
The Eid festival will feature carnival and pony rides and basketball and soccer games outside.
A bazaar featuring vendors selling clothing, books and toys will be located inside.
` Eid Al - Fitr is one the two main Islamic religious festivals along with ` Eid Al - Adha.
After special prayers to mark the day, festivities and merriment start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.
And while traditionally everyone wears new clothes for ` Eid, children look forward to gifts and traditional ` ediya(cash).
During ` Eid days, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for ` Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.
Helping all Muslims to celebrate ` Eid, the leading Muslim Association of Canada hopes to sponsor needy Muslim families during the festival.
" The purpose of the festival is to make it accessible to whole community, " Al - Shurafa said.
She added that organizers hope to sponsor 20 needy Muslim families by donating $150 to each family.
To date, $1,050 has been raised. Also, food donated throughout Ramadan will be collected and given to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Al - Shurafa said the event is free and is open to Muslims and non - Muslims, hoping that ` Eid celebrations will be held at the Aud each year.
" We are providing the real impression of what Islam is really about and our values, " she said.
Muslims make up nearly two percent of Canada ' s some 32.8 million people and Islam has become the number one non - Christian faith in the country.
A poll has showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian and are more integrated and better educated than the general population.