WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday is the second of the two Muslim holidays in the year and people celebrated at the Eastern States Exposition.
More than 2,000 people attended the Eid Al-Adha prayer at the Eastern States Exposition grounds Tuesday morning.
“It’s really nice, especially in West Springfield, because sometimes you don’t see the diversity and then we come together and it’s really nice,” said Hannah Jaber.
The holiday commemorates the end of the Hajj, the journey to Mecca that Muslims try to do once in a lifetime. When God tested a prophet to sacrifice his son but instead God sacrificed a lamb.
President of the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts Mohammed Dastigur told 22News, “The main thing is that we wanted to try to go to somewhat what we were doing before.”
The biggest difference for Eid Al-Adha this year is that people can finally get back to praying outside of their cars in their separate sections.
“It’s definitely interesting. I kind of forgot how it went because for two years we did it in cars but it’s good, it feels somewhat normal,” said Sara Jaber.
“We just want to make sure that people stick to their families and don’t over celebrate because obviously the Delta variant is real and we’re not sure where that’s going to take us,” said Dastigur.
Typically people hug and gather with friends after prayer but because of the prevalence of the COVID Delta variant, people left directly after the prayer. However, there are many reasons people love Eid.
“I like being able to see my family and my friends and give gifts. I like to give gifts to everybody,” said Jaber.
Mayor Reichelt also attended the event, “West Springfield has one of the largest refugee communities not only in western Mass. but in Massachusetts in general. They are a part of our community and I am here to support them.”
Eid Al-Adha is the last of the Islamic holidays celebrated throughout the world in the Islamic calendar and is considered the holier of the two Eids.