WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A call to prayer for Muslims rang out in West Springfield on Thursday. The day marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the day of breaking fasts for 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.
“We’re seeing a lot of people we haven’t seen in a while so I think a lot of people have a lot of joy today,” Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts President, Mohammed Dastigur told 22News.
Joyful scenes were everywhere with families seeing each other in celebration on the Eastern States Exposition grounds where the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts held Eid Al-Fitr prayer. Eid Al-Fitr is the celebration of breaking the fast after Muslims fasted from sunrise to sundown for 30 days during Ramadan.
“Really just celebrating 30 days of practicing self abstinent from a number of things from sunrise to sunset,” Dastigur explained.
Thursday was the second time the mosque had to hold an Eid celebration on the Eastern States Exposition grounds. In July 2020 they held Eid Al-Adha there. But this time the celebration had nearly doubled in size of attendees. 3000 people attended this celebration. At the last one they had between 1000 and 1500 people.
Attendees prayed next to their cars with the families to ensure social distancing. They were asked to wear masks if socializing with other households outside of their cars before prayer began. “It’s good cause like we’re still celebrating and getting together, even though there’s a whole pandemic in the world,” Attendee Zayn Mohammed told 22News.
“It makes me so happy to see everyone come together. Even though COVID has made if difficult to see each other on a regular basis, which the month of Ramadan would be. The last couple of years we haven’t been able to,” ISWM board member, Saadia Ahmed said.
Muslims typically dress up for Eid, give gifts and celebrate the day with large meals alongside family and friends.