Eid festival connects Edmonton Somali community with neighbours | News | Edmonto
The Somali Canadian Business Council marked the end of Ramadan with food, music and dancing Saturday.
The group gathered in a small park on 118 Avenue and 91 Street for the city’s first Eid al-Fitr Festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hassan Omar, council chair and CEO, organized the event to foster interaction between Edmonton’s Somali community and the businesses that serve it.
“There’s an influx of Somalis in this area. The business in this area is overwhelmingly Somali on this avenue road, so we are bringing the families close to the business,” Omar said.
“We have 17 stores just on this avenue.”
The City of Edmonton partnered with the council to provide tents for business vendors.
Eid al-Fitr, also called the Feast of Breaking the Fast, celebrates the end of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting that many Muslims take part in during Ramadan with elaborate banquets.
Although Omar cannot partake in the fast because he is diabetic, he said most healthy men he knows in the Somali and Muslim communities do take part and are especially grateful for nourishment once they are able to eat again.
“Most of them that I know in the Somali community here, the Muslim community, they do the fast,” he said.
Fasting is intended to strengthen patience, charity and empathy for the poor, among other virtues.