Manitoba's Muslim community gathers to celebrate the end of Ramadan

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Muslims in Manitoba were able to gather in person and celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

The event marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset and partake in prayer and reflection.

To celebrate Eid al-Fitr, around 10,000 people made their way to the RBC Convention Centre Monday morning for prayer and to be with others.

Ruheen Aziz, the vice-chair and treasurer of the Manitoba Islamic Association said this is the equivalent of Christmas for them.

“During the pandemic, we were unable to hold big events like this. It definitely had an effect on family, friends and the community. But we are happy to bring everyone back under one roof to celebrate the end of Ramadan,” said Aziz.

She said as part of the celebrations, people take part in prayer, feasting and spending time with family and friends.

Aziz added not having the ability to celebrate in person over the last two years really impacted the mental health of those in the Muslim community.

“The last couple of years have been difficult. There has not been as much gathering, of course, due to the pandemic. But, we are excited, we had a very good Ramadan. The community was able to get together in the mosques, get together in each other's homes, eat together, break fast together. So it has been a really great Ramadan.”

Aziz said the association was surprised to see how many people showed up to celebrate this year, adding there are a lot of new faces in the community.

“The community has grown tremendously. We noticed over the last two years the community has grown. Lots of new faces, lots of new families.”

Aziz hopes that the new families to Manitoba and Canada enjoyed the celebrations, saying it’s the association’s goal to welcome everyone under one roof.