Countdown to Eid in Edmonton
Every year, Muslims around the globe participate in a month-long fast from sunrise to sundown. The fast is called Ramadan. This year, it began on May 6 and will come to a close on June 3 with an Eid celebration — otherwise known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.”
Halfway through the fast, I checked in with participating Edmontonians on Reddit to discover the challenges they faced with Ramadan this year.
“This Ramadan is actually shorter than the last two years, so although it might not feel like it, it is getter [sic] easier,” writes Edmonton Redditor Moushi99. “It’s also not been super-hot which is a huge plus. I can go outside without feeling like death.”
Ramadan is part of one of the five founding pillars of Islamic religion — which include confessions of faith, daily prayer, charitable giving, pilgrimaging, and fasting.
Muslim communities in Edmonton, such as Al-Rashid Mosque, are welcoming people of all faiths to their celebrations in increasing numbers. Higher community supports has lead to greater understanding across the city.
Another Redditor, PopularArgument writes, “I worked at a golf course a number of years ago with a Muslim guy, and during Ramadan on those long hot days, I’m not sure how he managed without being able to drink any water.”
The first few years can be particularly troubling for children deemed old enough. Children under the age of seven are excused from this international celebration of Islamic faith — along with seniors, the chronically ill and pregnant women — due to extenuating circumstance. However, the transition can be shocking.
“I remember fasting in the winter when I was a kid,” says Moushi99. “We would break our fast around 4:30 p.m. and basically just skip lunch! Although as a kid even that felt like I was about to die or something.”
After annual fasts from the age of seven, Moushi99 says he feels as if his self-control and discipline are at a level where he doesn’t feel the mental and physical struggle anymore.
“I guess this allows me to focus on other aspects of Ramadan like going to taraweeh [sic] more often, giving to charity and partaking in good deeds,” he says.
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