MCCLELLAN PARK — Tuesday, over one billion Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan.
Locally, thousands gathered in McClellan Park for the Tarbiya Institute’s Grand Eid celebration as the community welcomes a party after a month of sacrifice.
“Eid Mubarak,” or “Have a blessed Eid,” is a greeting that was exchanged many times over.
“The message is just celebration and happiness and joy,” attendee Navera Sabir said.
“Ramadan is [like] a 30-day boot camp,” explained Irfan Haq with the Council of Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations.
Ramadan is one month of fasting where observant Muslims eat before sunrise and don’t eat again until after sunset.
“And, yes, not even water because I always get that question,” attendee Anoosh Ali said.
But, the fasting goes deeper than hunger pains.
“Like fasting of the tongue, like try not to swear, or fasting of the eyes, try to watch good things, listen to good music,” Ali explained. “Fasting of the heart. Not just keeping yourself from food and water.”
After a month of such sacrifice, it’s fitting that Eid al-Fitr also marks the biggest celebration in Islam.
“Children are given gifts, often cash so they can buy candies and ice cream and things like that,” Haq said.
“It’s our day to all get together, celebrate with our family, loved ones, everybody,” attendee Mirane Ahmed explained.
The event brought together Muslims of many backgrounds.
Organizers estimate the celebrants have ties to dozens of different countries — the variety in their garb hinted to the truth in that.
The celebration at McClellan is just a microcosm of what’s happening worldwide.
“Every part of the world today people are celebrating the Eid,” Haq said.