At the end of a month-long fast, the Muslim community in Barbados came together Wednesday for a glorious feast.
The Eid al-Fitr Festival marks the end of Ramadan, when physical needs such as food, drink and conjugal activities are sacrificed to build a closer relationship with God.
The festival began Wednesday morning with an outdoor Eid prayer by Muslims, who came dressed in their finest.
Sherica Cumberbatch was born in Trinidad, but has been a member of the Barbadian Muslim community for over 20 years. On Wednesday, she was among those who stuck with tradition, as she journeyed with family and friends to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Christ Church for Wednesday morning’s prayer session, attended by about 200 Muslims.
For her, there is something very special about an Eid prayer, not only in terms of its format, but the prescribed moves.
Later in the day, she would be among a large crowd gathered at Oxnards Heights, St James for a major feast, prepared not only for Muslim families and friends, but special invitees representing various religious beliefs.
It was Tayna Conliffe’s first Eid and she described it as “good and different”. Conliffe, who is not of the Muslim faith, compared the celebration to what Christians do at Christmas, adding that she was looking forward to future Eid celebrations.
Wednesday, a new tradition was recognized where gifts are exchanged between families and friends. Treat boxes were also shared to ensure everyone participated in the jovial festival. There was also henna tattooing for guests, as children made their own merriment.
“Eid is meant to be a day of celebration where people come together to pray, partake in meals and have fun,” said
Ferozah Kothdiwala, who is a practising Muslim.
And as always, there was plenty of food to go around and lots of sweet treats, as Barbadian Muslims indulged in Sweet-Eid, the other name given to Wednesday’s special celebration.