All Welcome at New Zealand Muslims `Eid Celebration

Muslims gathering at Manawatu Multicultural Center to celebrate `Eid Al-Adha on Saturday, August 17, opened their doors to welcome more than 2000 people to share fun and entertainment, Stuff reported.

Manawatū Multicultural Council president Rana Naser said the region’s Muslims wanted the wider community to see and understand what made them different and what unites them.

“And we are teaching our young people not to be shy, but to be proud of who they are,” she said.

`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, marks the end of the Hajj season and is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with Eid Al-Fitr.

A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares with six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha celebrations.

The ritual commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail to Allah as an act of obedience and submission.

The festival began with a Qur’an recitation and speeches, with a line-up of cultural performances from Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and a screening of `Eid Al-Adha celebrations around the world.

All Welcome at New Zealand Muslims `Eid Celebration - About Islam

Ayah Kayed, 14, helps shed light on the diversity of cultures within the Muslim faith. (MURRAY WILSON/STUFF)

Attending the event with her parents, 14-year-old Ayah Kayed, from Palmerston North Girls’ High School agreed on the importance of these events.

“We come from all different cultures. Islam is our religion, not a culture. Islam is for anyone. It does not belong to one cultural group or country.

“And underneath, we are just people, like everyone.”