Eid Mubarak! Birmingham’s Muslim community are deep into Ramadan – the Islamic month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community. But many will have one eye on the celebrations at the end of April. Eid al-Fitr 2023 will likely start next week marking the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting.
Eid al-Fitr, also called the Festival of Sweets, will feature the biggest celebration in Europe at Small Heath Park once again this year. Organised by Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC), a record 140,000 people attended in 2018. With prayers, food and a funfair, Birmingham’s Eid in the Park festivities are growing strong again ever post-pandemic. Somewhere between 20-40,ooo people are expected this year.
The exact date of Eid Al-Fitr is based on the sighting of the new crescent moon. If spotted on Thursday evening (April 20), which is likely, Eid in the Park prayers and festivities will take place on Friday (April 21). If not seen until the next day, it will be delayed until the Saturday (April 22) otherwise. A formal announcement will be made on April 20 when this has been made clear.
Those attending can join Eid al-Fitr festivities at Small Heath Park between 8 and 9am, with prayer performed at 9.30am. There will also be plenty of activities to enjoy, including the regular Robert Wilkinson FunFair, for families to enjoy after prayers have concluded. If the weather doesn’t hold out, however, there will also be a wet weather contingency indoor prayers at Green Lane Masjid. Four separate congregational prayers, due to high volume of people expected, will run from 7am through to 10am.
What other festivities are taking place for Eid al-Fitr 2023?
Same as last year, the Birmingham mosque GLMCC will also host outdoor Eid prayers at Edgbaston Stadium. Home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, with organisers asking for an 8am arrival. 2,000 people are expected at the event for prayers, food, stalls and cricket coaching for children.
Also, before festivities, GLMCC will hand out food packs to those in the community struggling financially on April 19. So all can enjoy the festival. To learn more about GLMCC’s activities head here.