How To Celebrate Eid 2016 In The UK And Why

Known as the ‘festival of breaking the fast’, Eid al-fitr is a period of fine food, family, music and prayer post-Ramadam. Here’s how to mark the joyous occasion around the UK and why we celebrate Eid

GettyBangladeshi Muslims offer prayers as they kick off the Eid al-Fitr celebrations

A record-breaking 60,000 Muslims turned up in a Birmingham park to mark the end of Ramadan 2015

Tuesday 5 July marks the final day of Ramadan 2016, when Muslim followers around the world will begin the countdown to ‘breaking the fast’, better known as Eid al-fitr.

There are almost three million Muslims in the UK, and since midnight on Monday June 6, they’ve been observing the spiritual month of Ramadan – a 30-day fast which sees worshippers partake in extra prayers in the name of Allah.

On Wednesday 6 July, the first morning of Eid, worshippers will gather in local mosques or open-air locations for special prayers called Salat al-Eid, before eating their first daylight meal in a month.

Their prayers will thank Allah for the strength, the will and the endurance he’s offered to them during Ramadan, and will be followed by the exchange of gifts, food and family prayers.

This year, a host of cities around the UK will be marking the joyous festival with celebrations, including fireworks, delicious foods and Arabic arts – with a London event hosted by Mayor Sadiq Khan in Trafalgar Square on 9 July.

Here’s our pick of the best events in Britain to celebrate Eid, to discover more aboutRamadam itself, click here.

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1. Trafalgar Square, London

AlamyTrafalgar Square and Nelson's Column, London

Mayor Sadiq Khan will host this year’s Eid celebrations in Trafalgar Square on 9 July, and the event – which is free to attend – will include a variety of special activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Highlights include a food festival where you can sample a host of delicious cuisines from across the world. You can also enjoy live music and watch exclusive performances throughout the day.

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Other highlights for children include face-painting, henna, calligraphy, story-telling and art exhibitions.

Date: Saturday 09 July 2016

Time: 12am to 6pm

Venue: Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN

Tickets: No ticket required

2. Brent Cross, London

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El GhanyAn Egyptian worker makes traditional sweets, "Kahk", as part of celebrations for the Eid al-Fitr festival, at a bakery in Cairo.

Traditional sweets “Kahk” are prepared, as part of celebrations Eid al-Fitr festivities in Cairo

On Saturday 16 July, Brent Cross Shopping Centre will treat children and family to an entire day of storytelling to celebrate Eid – with humorous fables told by a renowned theatre group.

There will also be henna artists, fun craft activities designed to encourage children to think about their community, face painting, sweet treats and calligraphy workshops.

Date: Saturday 16 July 2016

Time: 9-5pm

Venue: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, London, NW4 3FP

Tickets: No ticket required

3. Small Heath Park, Birmingham

Celebrate Eid will take place in Small Heath Park, Coventry Road, Birmingham, on Wednesday July 6. The event is also being called Eid in the Park.

With more than 60,000 people attending, this is one of the biggest Eid events in the UK and Europe. You can read all about the Birmingham event here.

Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-6 July 2016

Time: 8-6pm

Venue: Small Heath Park, 569 Coventry Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, B10 0EF

Tickets: No ticket required

4. Eid in the Park, Blackburn

The Eid in the Park Blackburn committee is back with its mission to unite the communities of Blackburn and the surrounding areas for three days this July.

On day one – Eid Al-Fitr itself, brothers, sisters and children will gather for Eid prayer in the park. The following weekend is reserved for the family fun festival, with activities, food and music to entertain the public.

Date: Saturday and Sunday 9-10 July 2016

Time: 9-5pm

Venue: Witton Country Park, Preston Old Road, Blackburn BB2 2TP

Tickets: No ticket required

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