Residents celebrate Eid Al-Fitr 2023 at Aylmer Mosque
Aylmer residents and others from across Gatineau gathered to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr at the Aylmer Mosque on Friday, April 21. The mosque, which is located at 21 rue Park in Old Aylmer, was previously the site of a bank and was renovated in 2010 to accommodate the growing Muslim community.
Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and is a time of joy, charity, and gathering with friends and neighbors. During Ramadan, which was from March 22 to April 20 this year, residents regularly gathered at the mosque after sunset to pray and enjoy fast breaking dinners together. The Eid Al-Fitr celebrations began early Friday morning at 7:30am with two prayer sessions at 8am and 9am followed by a social gathering with popcorn, baked goods and tea offered outdoors.
The high volume of visitors were received by volunteers of all ages who handed out food and drinks. Louay, a Cegep student at Heritage College studying social science, and volunteer at the Eid celebration shared: “Eid is not only about prayer; we also socialize and eat together – it’s a really fun experience. I live and grew up in Aylmer and this mosque was part of my childhood.”
For many attendees, the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr is intertwined with the joy of giving to others. As a charitable initiative during Ramadan, the Aylmer Muslim community distributed over 300 grocery baskets for families in need in the Aylmer and Plateau area. The mosque was also open to families affected by the power outages following the ice storm in early April and provided overnight accommodations and hot meals to approximately 40 people.
Andi, a federal government worker and young mother who grew up in Aylmer, spoke about the significance of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, “Ramadan is an opportunity for us to get closer to our Creator, to give our body a rest, and to pray for the wellbeing of others. Eid is the day we come out to celebrate after a month of very frugal living. It’s a super happy day as well, everyone is dressed up in their finest clothes and enjoys treats.”
Andi also shared that the celebration is open to the wider Aylmer community: “Eid is not just for Muslims but for everybody, if someone wants to join us at any festival, we are more than happy to have them … It feels nice to live in a place like Aylmer where a lot of different people from all walks of life, and every ethnicity are living very happily.”
Eid Al-Fitr is one of the major Muslim celebrations held at the Aylmer Mosque throughout the year. The next major celebration is Eid Al-Adha which will be celebrated in late June, more information can be found on the mosque’s website https://mosque-aylmer.ca/ and Facebook page.
Photo 1 Caption: Volunteers at the Eid Al-Fitr celebration at the Aylmer Mosque, April 21.
Photo 2 Caption: Friends and family enjoying the Eid celebration.
Photo 3 Caption: Attendees lined up for refreshments.
Photo Credits: Greg Newing.