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Eid Mubarak: Calgarians celebrate the end of Ramadan

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Calgarians in every quadrant of the city gathered Wednesday to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan fasting.

Mosques, community centres and banquet halls were packed as Muslims marked one of their two major religious holidays.

It’s a day to celebrate the end of a month-long dawn-to-sunset fast and to pray for prosperity in the year ahead.

The first day of Eid begins with a large morning prayer before the celebrations head into the streets and Muslim homes.

“Islam is a religion that spans through races, ethnicities and cultures,” Green Dome Mosque attendee Zubair Tariq said.

“So it’s a great opportunity for all of us because we believe that we spread love through praying together and having a feast together. And that’s the whole purpose of the month of Ramadan, as well Eid.”

Syed Soharwardy, the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, echoed that sentiment. He pointed to the city’s growing Muslim population.

“It’s a day of reaching out to the needy and the poor as well,” Soharwardy told CTV News. “So there is a mandatory charity that every one of us has to give before the prayer in the morning.”

There’s also another mandatory element to Eid this year: a prayer for Gaza.

Thousands kneeled and spared a word for those in the region that has been hit extremely hard by an Israeli military offensive.

“We’re thinking of them,” Soharwardy said.

Because the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, Calgarians will continue the celebrations into the weekend.

Multiple events are planned for Saturday, including a community gathering at the MAC Islamic School in the northeast from 4 to 11 p.m.

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