‘Almost like shopping for Christmas’: Muslim community gathers for pre-Eid bazaar

Manitoba’s Muslim community gathered this weekend for an afternoon of shopping, celebration, and preparation for an upcoming holiday.

The Pre-Eid Bazaar took place Saturday at the Winnipeg Grand Mosque, 2445 Waverly Street. Local Muslim-owned businesses sold clothing, jewellery, and food while attendees perused the marketplace.

“The community is eager to get together, to celebrate, to talk about Ramadan and the celebration of Eid,” said Ruheen Aziz with the Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA).

“It’s almost like shopping for Christmas,” said Aziz. “They get to buy clothes, they get to buy jewellery they get to buy some food for tonight.”

Eid al-Fitr – also known as the Festival of Sweets – marks the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fast between dawn and sunset for a month.

“We have Eid, where people celebrate breaking the fast,” said Raed Hamdan, owner of Party Social. “So this event is like a preparation for Eid. The community comes here, small businesses come here, and they sell their products.”

Aziz was at the bazaar promoting the MIA’s sixth annual toy drive, also happening at the Waverley Mosque from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Apr. 16. “The youth run this event every year, we look for toys for anyone up to the age of 16,” she said.

Aziz said anyone can come to the mosque’s gym and donate a new, unwrapped toy for families in need.

“We’re all about giving and charity in Islam and so it’s a very important event,” she said. “And it actually teaches the youth that they need to be involved and volunteer and help people that are a little less fortunate.”

Aziz said they work with the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute to wrap and distribute the toys to families in need. Donors can also complete a card to be given with the toy.

More information can be found at the MIA website

Eid takes place Apr. 20 and 21, 2023.

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