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Bridgetown, Barbados: Barbados Nation Online news reported that: MUSLIMS ACROSS BARBADOS celebrated the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, with feasting and festivities yesterday.
While Eid-ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday internationally, the small community of Muslims here celebrate by taking the day ff to spend with family and friends.
Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fitr means “to break fast” and so the holiday symbolises the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated after the end of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.
Yesterday, some of them gathered in Husband’s Heights, St James, to fellowship and enjoy delicacies like “birfee” – an Indian sweet made from milk powder and sugar; Eid milk – a mixture of milk nuts, almonds, pistachios, vermecelli (type of pasta) and raisins, and Cumin; a channa dish made with yogurt and cumin seeds.
Much like Christians on Christmas Day, Muslim children were given gifts on Eid and the girls created elaborate designs on their hands with henna.
“It is a day when Muslims will rise early, have prayers in the Mosque, give charity and family, friends and associates will gather in their homes, have meals and exchange gifts and so on,” said Suleman Bulbulia, secretary of the Muslim Association of Barbados.
Muslims from Trinidad and Europe were also part of yesterday’s festivities.
“I come from Europe. For the first time ever, I’m away from my family because of professional reasons and everyone has been so kind to invite me to celebrate with them. It is a very similar way of celebrating. The difference is the foods. In Europe our food is Arabic while the food here is more culturally oriented,” said Leila Terrer.
Sabeerah Dean from Trinidad, who was attending her first Eid in Barbados, also cited some differences between celebrations here and the twin-island republic.
“In Trinidad the whole month of Ramadan is like an Eid. You have 30 days of celebrations and everyone will come together and they will cook big meals. What you are seeing here happened every day during Ramadan around 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., when they break fast back home,” she said.
This year, the Eid in Barbados was celebrated one day behind other countries because the new moon (the Muslim calendar is lunar) was not seen here on Saturday night whereas it was spotted in other countries in the world so they celebrated Eid on Sunday.