Ramadan fasting coming to a close for 2023

Today, April 21st, marks the end of Ramadan, and was celebrated with Eid al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr Port Elgin (Saugeen Shores)

“Ramadhan is a holy month for Muslims worldwide. It is observed by fasting from sunrise to sunset, refraining from bad habits and doing good deeds. After a month of spiritual cleansing, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

As part of the celebrations, a local Eid bazaar was organized for the first time on 18th April 2023 at the Plex in Port Elgin. The Bazaar featured 10 local Muslim-owned vendors offering a range of traditional food items, clothing, decor, sweets and pastries. The event attracted around 80 guests, who enjoyed browsing through the stalls and mingling with other members of the community. One of the highlights of the bazaar was the traditional henna painting, which was done by a local artist. Visitors had the opportunity to get intricate designs painted on their hands and arms. Children were also treated to face painting.

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It also included activities for children. Kids received gifts and exchanged toys and books. An arts and crafts table was set up for children to show their creativity.

The Eid bazaar featured a fun photo booth with colorful inflatable Eid decor and balloon backdrops. Community members captured memories of their Eid celebrations.

The organizers were delighted by the success of the event and are hopeful of setting up more events like these in the future. The bazaar was a perfect example of how such events can bring communities together and promote diversity and inclusivity.”

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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection, and community.
“It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship when Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam, including the fast (sawm) that begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking during this time, Muslims abstain from sexual relations¬†and sinful speech and behaviour during Ramadan fasting or month. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to¬†cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities.” (Wikipedia)
Muslims believe that Ramadan teaches self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity.  They also believe fasting helps instil compassion for the food-insecure poor.
The common practice is to fast from dawn to sunset during Ramadan.¬†¬†At the conclusion of Ramadan, the Festival of Breaking the Fast, ‘Eid al-Iftar’ is held. At sunset, families break the fast with the¬†iftar, traditionally opening the meal by eating dates to commemorate Muhammad’s practice of breaking the fast with three dates.

They then adjourn for Maghrib, the fourth of the five required daily prayers, after which the main meal is served.  Social gatherings, many times in buffet style, are frequent at fitr. Traditional dishes are often highlighted, including traditional desserts, particularly those made only during Ramadan. Water is usually the beverage of choice, but juice and milk are also often available, as are soft drinks and caffeinated beverages.