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Mississauga mosque celebrates socially distant Eid with drive-thru gift handouts

Last Updated May 24, 2020 at 4:24 pm EDT

An Islamic Society of North America Mosque community member hands out candy to children in a drive through Eid celebration on Sunday, May 24, 2020. The celebration lasted hours with thousands participating. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A Toronto-area mosque says it was still able to celebrate Eid on Sunday with a physically distant drive-thru celebration with thousands of congregants.

The Islamic Society of North America says roughly 2,000 cars with multiple people inside were able to take part in Mississauga, Ont., where mosque staff handed out gift bags for families. 

Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic holiday that celebrates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in which people go without food or drink from sunrise to sunset.

Chihab Kaab, chair of ISNA’s board, said they had planned to start the event at 10 a.m., but cars had already started lining up an hour early.

He said spirits were high and people were able to enjoy Eid despite the global pandemic.

“It was truly the spirit of Eid and it was the celebration that people needed,” said Kaab.

“There were big smiles from everybody even though there were long lineups in the street.”

Kaab said people had brought cards to show appreciation for the team of people putting on the event.

The mosque also prepared an online video which showed kids how to interact with some of the gifts they were given, such as decorative henna.

There was also a prepared sermon, and then a video explaining how families can do the Eid prayer at home, rather than in a congregational setting.

Mosques around the country had planned other ways to celebrate the holiday while remaining physically distant, including some that planned to livestream the prayer and sermon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020.

 

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press