Lanterns would like to extend a sincere Eid Mubarak to everyone and their families! We pray that this Eid-ul-fitr was enjoyable, memorable, and most importantly a celebration of completing our fasts and moving forward with the spiritual enrichment that the blessed month of Ramadan brings.
Following their annual traditions around this time of year, the first of the biannual GTA Eid Festival hosted by the Muslim Association of Canada took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) on July 28, 2014.
The blessed day began with Eid prayers, led by Sh. Mohammad Zahid, followed by a carnival which lasted until 6 PM. The festivities and amenities available included a wide range of market booths, food stalls, bouncy castles, carnival theme rides, and much more. Earlier in the day, children had access to a petting zoo and live animal show! The convention centre was constantly filled with Muslims and non-Muslims from every culture, race, and background; the atmosphere and ambiance was ablaze with celebrations, salutations, and well-wishes.
Everyone in attendance was dressed beautifully, respectful of one another, and together in harmony on the blessed day in accordance with the sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions. The vibrant Eid spirit was definitely tangible and pleasantly captivating.
Seeing as how this city’s seen its fair share of discrepancy when it comes to celebrating Eid at the same time, one of the nicest things to witness at the Eid festival was the harmony with which everyone was in attendance. Those following the sighting of the moon, scientific calculation, or Saudi Arabia, celebrated in unity and perhaps this is just one example of how Eid should be: standing together as an ummah in celebration, as we have been encouraged to do.
Of the attendees interviewed, practically everyone had something good to say about the festival. Particularly, the children in attendance were by far the most entertained and catered to. Parents were thrilled and elaborated on the various children’s games and activities available ranging from the animal show to roller coasters to even the video game tournaments that were made available.
Perhaps the more interesting activity available was the illustrious bubble soccer, a game where team players are suited up inside giant, plastic bubbles and are made to play a simple game of soccer armed with the ability to decimate any bubble that gets in their way!
One mild concern expressed by attendees was the lack of variety in food options available. By no means was there a shortage in food but there definitely was not a whole lot to choose from.
Lastly, one of the high-points of the festival was definitely Gaza’s presence at the venue. Aside from the really large booth made available by Human Concern International for donations and international money transfer, there were several concerned citizens who had simply set up wherever they could trying to spread awareness of the oppression our brothers and sisters in Gaza are going through. These concerned citizens were also trying to get support from the local community in spreading that awareness to members of parliament and government. May Allah (SWT) reward them for their efforts and may He allow us the opportunity to use this Eid and the past month of Ramadan as a means and starting point to better our own lives, the lives of our loved ones, and of our brothers and sisters worldwide.
May Allah (SWT) also reward and bless the tireless efforts of MAC personnel and volunteers who sacrifice their time and celebrations with their family to host such a beautiful gathering, uniting our community in celebration.