What better way to celebrate the end of a month of dawn-to-sunset fasting than feasting with family and friends.
That's how more than 40 Muslim members of the community spent Saturday, June 6 at the Uniting Church in Taree when they celebrated Eid al-Fitr, a cultural and religious festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and a day when it is forbidden to fast.
People celebrating Eid travelled from Taree, Wingham and Forster, wearing traditional costumes and bringing traditional food to share for the occasion.
"Eid day starts with special prayers, generally at mosques, followed by cultural festivities that can go for up to three days," Jamil Ahmad explained.
We will be opening it up to the community next time!Jamil Ahmad
During Ramadan Jamil also organised two iftar dinners - the evening meal where Muslims break their daily fast - for the Muslim community.
"We had a very good turnout. We used the same venue for the iftar dinners as well," Jamil said.
A 'good turnout' means around 60 people, however with Eid al-Fitr falling on the long weekend this year, some families travelled to Newcastle, Sydney and Port Macquarie to celebrate with family.
Gathered at this year's Eid celebration were people from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Fiji, Mauritius and Morocco.
"It's amazing how diverse the multicultural community here is. You've got people from all sorts of cultural backgrounds," Jamil said.
"Looking at over the last six or seven years that I've been here, how multicultural the Manning Valley has become is absolutely amazing."
After sharing some photos of the event on Facebook, Jamil said he has been asked by non-Muslims if they could join the Muslim community in future celebrations, and the answer is a resounding 'yes'.
"We will be opening it up to the community next time," Jamil said.
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