Ice cream, dodgems and lots of fun as thousands turn out for Eid celebrations in Ilford

EID Celebrations in Goodmayes park.
Zeina Isenail, Aysha Khalid, Misba Beg, from 1EID

EID Celebrations in Goodmayes park. Zeina Isenail, Aysha Khalid, Misba Beg, from 1EID - Credit: Archant

Thousands of families turned out in force to celebrate Eid with prayers in the park followed by a funfair complete with dodgems and candy floss.

Eid marks the end of the holiest month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims fast between the hours of sunrise and sunset.

Yesterday morning rows of worshipers gathered in Melbourne Fields part of Valentines Park in Auckland Road, Ilford to listen to speeches about remembering others who are not in a position to celebrate.

Up early to secure his position in the fields was Naheem Fazil, 42, who went along to the special prayers with all his family.

He said that before prayers started there was a speech by a doctor who had just returned from Syria and spoke about thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves.

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Mr Fazil, of Chichester Gardens, Ilford, said: “They spoke about being better people and to think of those in countries that are less well off than us. The weather was lovely and warm it was like being in the Middle East with the sun beating down on you.”

Eid Al Fitr marks the end of 29 or 30 days of fasting, depending on the lunar cycle, and is one of the five pillars of Islam.

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The five pillars are obligatory acts which Muslims observe and also include a confession of faith, praying, giving to charities and going on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once.

Prayers on Eid are slightly different to a normal day and have extra raisings of the hands during the ritual.

Mr Fazil said: “It’s traditional to pray outside. It’s not so practical in this country but it’s considered to be good if you can.”

People also donated money to charities and there were food and information stalls. After prayers people returned to their homes for large family breakfasts and later many visited the 1 Eid celebration at Goodmayes Park, Green Lane, Goodmayes.

Manager of the 1 Eid event was Sam Miah who said the fun fair had brought people together, including those from different communities.

Mr Miah said: “People have spent time with their families and raised money for charities.

“It was open to everyone and it’s been a very warm atmosphere. The day’s run by volunteers who are doing it just to see the smiles on people’s faces and in the name of God.”

About 20 people volunteered on stalls and as stewards to ensure the day ran smoothly which attracted more than 2,000 people.”

One of the volunteers working hard on the day was Mizzi Pegum, 29 of Ilford who was running stalls with sweets, gifts and toys.

Miss Pegum said: “It’s been extremely busy, it’s a celebration and everyone’s come out bringing their families and enjoyed themselves. The kids are very happy. It’s a religious festival and it’s got to be done in style like Christmas or Pass Over.”

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