Eid celebrations take place in Belfast as fasting month of Ramadan ends

Around 3,000 Muslims in west Belfast have marked the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid-al-Fitr.

The religious event, which translates to 'the festival of breaking the fast', marks the end of a period of 30 days of fasting.

Northern Ireland's biggest event was held at an indoor sports pitch at Colin Glen Leisure Park.

Eid is a time when families and friends gather to eat and spend time with one another following the dawn-til-sunset fasting period.

Asim Sattar explained how Eid is celebrated.

Families and friends celebrating Eid in Belfast. Credit: UTV

"It will last another two days and all Muslims, invite non-Muslims as well, into their houses and show their traditions."

It was a morning full of peaceful wishes but Islam is a faith that has come under attack in Northern Ireland in recent times.

On two occasions within the last few years, in January 2021 and April 2022, Belfast Multi Cultural Centre in south Belfast was targeted by arsonists.

Eid celebrations in Belfast. Credit: UTV

Muhammad Atif is from the centre.

"It felt like our whole dream was in the fire, I didn't know what we were going to do," he said.

"We had big plans at that point, it was very uncertain."

Muhammad commended the Belfast community for rallying round Muslims at that time.

"Within a couple of days, the way the Belfast and wider Northern Ireland community came together to help us. It was unbelievable."

He added that action needs to be taken from government level to help protect minority communities.

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