Eid-al-Fitr is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. During the month of Ramadan Muslims faithfuls abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.
The timing of Eid al-Fitr, or “the festival of breaking the fast”, can be tricky, as it is based on the sighting of the new moon, and it often varies from country to country.
Celebrations begin with a special early morning prayer in mosques or open-air areas and later move on to feasts and festivals.
This year, Muslims in Nigeria joined Muslims all over the world to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr on Sunday, June 25. The federal government had declared 26 and 27th June as public holidays to commemorate the Muslim festival.
It was a fun-filled day on Monday, as fun seekers came out in their numbers to catch some fun during the Eid-al-Fitr celebration in Abuja despite the economic situation in the country.
The crowed Millennium Park in Abuja showed that many were in high spirit of the celebration, there was heavy traffic such that cars could hardly drive through that road and people had to walk to get to their destination around that axis.
It was difficult getting to the park but Kapital FM managed to pull through and chatted with some fun seekers. Most of those who spoke with KFM testified that they had fun despite the difficulties in the country.
A resident, Sule Danjuma said, “This year’s Sallah celebration is not interesting at all, this is because of the hardship in the country. Everything is expensive in the market, you just have to manage and celebrate it because you have no choice.”
Another lady Aisha Suleiman said, “This year’s Sallah celebration is just there compared to last year and this is mainly because of the recession in the country. There is no money, there are lots of things one would have loved to buy but because there is no money one cant just buy them, but all the same we still thank God.”
Musa Mohammed: “For me this year’s Sallah celebration is far far better than last year in terms of security. you can see from the crowd here that this year’s turn out is really much, last year, people were afraid to come out because of fear of boko haram and all that. So we thank God that the insecurity issues in the territory have been tackled, people can now come out and celebrate Sallah peacefully.”
Fatima Dantata: “I’m really enjoying myself. For me, this Sallah is fantastic. Starting from the fasting period, I enjoyed it and didn’t even want it to end. And it is not all about not having enough money to celebrate Sallah or the recession in the country, to me, it is all about the blessings that comes with the whole celebration.”
The Celebration was in different phases, while others were busy having fun, some were making money. One of the business people around was Mrs Sikira. who was selling soft drinks. According to her, though the crowd was much, the business aspect was not like the previous Sallah celebrations. “There is no market, people are complaining that there is no money. Even last, we sold much more than what we’ve sold today. The economy is hard because our government is not doing well” She said.
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Another notable business at the Millenium Park was a game called “Throw and Win” were wine and soft drinks were arranged on a row and participants were paying N50 (Fifty Naira) to play. Speaking to Kapital fm, Miss Gladys the owner of the game she said “People are participating but it’s not like last year’s Sallah, I know how much we made here last year but this year people are just complaining”.
For Daniel, a photographer, the Sallah was not as he expected: “The Sallah itself is just there, we have a lot of people here compared to last year still, business is not moving for me. Last year that the population was less, I made more money. Right now, everyone is just complaining of the hardship in the country.”
Well in all residents still came out in large numbers to have fun and celebrate the Eid-al-Fitr regardless of the economic situation in the country which is biting hard on the people.