The halls of the Leon Centre were packed on Saturday with Muslims from all across Kingston to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the second and bigger of the two annual Islamic celebrations.
Hundreds of Muslims stand side by side, starting the day with prayer, before spending the rest of it with those closest to them.
This year’s celebrations marked the first time since 2019 that the community in Kingston was able to gather without pandemic restrictions.
“I really love Eid because I see my friends and my family, friends that I haven’t seen in a long time,” said Ahmed Aly a young member of the community.
For Moram Khalid, this Eid has a very special significance.
“This year is one of my first with my two younger sons, so we’ve been teaching them about being kind towards others and giving to everyone that needs it.”
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It’s a sentiment that is carried through the whole holiday.
Muslims are encouraged to share food with their communities, traditionally ram.
“They are encouraged to give 1/3 to the poor, the other third they are encouraged to give to friends and family, and then they are to keep 1/3 for themselves to eat,” said Abubakar Mulla Imam of the Islamic Society here in Kingston.
Another tradition Khalid takes part in can resonate with so many Kingstonians.
“The first thing we do, obviously, is fight all morning to get ready for the Eid prayer because it’s so early. But once we are here, we’re so happy to see everyone and celebrate together.”
The holiday coincides with the annual pilgrimage that happens once a year in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, an event all Muslims are encouraged to embark on at least once.
But whether you are in Mecca, or here in Kingston, Khalid expresses a sentiment shared by all: “Eid Mubarak everyone! Hope you guys have an amazing day.”