Though COVID-19 restrictions meant that members of the Semiahmoo Peninsula Muslim community observed Ramadan largely in isolation for the second consecutive year, the end of the month-long event was celebrated this week in a more traditional fashion – albeit outdoors and socially distanced.
On Thursday, the White Rock Muslim Association hosted Eid celebrations outdoors at South Surrey Athletic Park, just adjacent to the rec centre, marking the end of Ramadan.
Ramadan, which began April 13, consists of fasting and multiple daily prayers, and in a normal, non-pandemic year, also includes a social aspect, as Muslims gather together to pray, as well as eat every night to break the day’s fast. However, with gatherings restricted, such activities were cancelled at the White Rock Muslim Association’s building, and all aspects of Ramadan were done privately in families’ respective homes.
Last month, Asad Syed – the past-president of the White Rock Muslim Association – told Peace Arch News that while restrictions had “completely changed” the traditional way of marking Ramadan, he was hopeful that Eid could be celebrated in some fashion.
Normally, a large Eid dinner would be held – often at Peace Arch Park, he noted.
On Thursday, Syed said that about 50 people – separated into small, physically distanced groups – arrived at a sports field near the South Surrey Recreational Centre and prayed. There was a half-hour gap between sessions, and some members of the association chose to stay home and pray privately, Syed said.
“Participants prayed for the health and well-being of fellow citizens and ask mercy and relief from the pandemic,” he said.
Further celebrations were then held privately at home, he added.