How Muslims celebrated Eid Al-Fitr across the UK

Millions of Muslims gathered in mosques, parks, community centres and football pitches across the UK to take part in Eid Al-Fitr celebrations on Monday.

The occasion marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar which sees Muslims fast every day from dawn until dusk.

In England, almost 30,000 worshippers descended on Small Heath Park in Birmingham from 6am to take part in Eid prayers.

British Muslims have been forced to observe Eid Al-Fitr under Covid-19 restrictions for the past two years, placing curbs on the usual festivities including large indoor gatherings.

However, this year’s holiday marks the first since 2019 to take place without any limits on socialising.

The celebration marks the end of Ramadan ( Kamran J @visuals.k / SWNS)

Saleem Ahmed, project manager for Eid in the Park, commented: “Eid is a joyous occasion, where Muslims come together to celebrate, spend time with family and worship as a community.

“It is a relief to have such an important celebration return to some normality after such a long time.”

A second event was held at Edgbaston Stadium in the city and saw 2,000 people attend prayers, and later take part in games such as miniature golf, cricket coaching and laser clay pigeon shooting.

Elsewhere in the country, Blackburn Rovers became the first football club in the UK to host Eid celebrations, inviting in 3,000 people to pray on the pitch.

One football fan from Sudan, who recently moved to the UK, said the event made him “feel like a part of the community”.

“Eid for Muslims is something very special, gathering all the relatives together. This time, for us especially, we miss our relatives so much,” said Ahmed Khalifa, 37, who has been living in Blackburn for four months.

“So it was a very big deal for us to have this group of people. So happy to see all these people there.

“The people of Blackburn, they all seem like part of a community, but for me coming new to this city… now I’m feeling like a part of the community.”

The football club shared photographs and video footage from the event on social media. One video, posted to Twitter, showed rows of people gathered on the pitch for prayer.

“Eid Mubarak from everyone at Blackburn Rovers,” it said in a tweet.

Steve Waggot, CEO of Blackburn Rovers, said the event marks a “hugely significant moment for football”, adding that the club had recently taken a number of steps to be more inclusive of Muslims.

“We’re the first club to ever host the Eid prayer on the pitch, which is great, but it follows on from the last few years of having a prayer room installed, having alcohol-free bars, having Halal food [and] launching an Ewood Express service to bring young people and families to the stadium.

“All the things we have to do to attract a new wave of supporters from our South Asian community.”

In Wales’ capital city, Eid prayers were held at Cardiff City Hall on Monday morning. Video footage shared to Twitter showed hundreds of people gathered outside the venue following the event.

“This I believe is the largest gathering for Eid Prayers in Cardiff by the City Hall,” one attendee said.

Last year prayers were held outside on the grounds of Cardiff Castle in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

In Scotland, Eid prayers took place at Edinburgh Central Mosque and outside on the grass at Inverleith Park.

Following Eid prayers, the mosque also hosted a community celebration from morning until afternoon, providing entertainment and refreshments for attendees.

This included activities for children such as face-painting, balloon modelling and bouncy castles.