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East Lancashire Muslims celebrate Eid on two different days
MUSLIMS across East Lancashire have been celebrating as the end of their 30-day Ramadhan fasting period approached.
More than 70,000 people will attend prayers and take part in feasts as part of Eid al Fitr, the most important event in the Islamic calendar.
This year the festival has been celebrated on two different days.
While some mosques declared that fasting had ended yesterday, others will commence festivities today.
The difference is due to opposing opinions regarding when the crescent of the new Shawwl moon should be considered to have been spotted.
Some believe that sightings of the moon in Saudi Arabia should warrant the official end of Ramadhan while others wait until sightings of the moon have been confirmed in Britain.
Due to varying visibility from year to year it can sometimes mean that Eid can coincide on the same day for both schools of thought in Britain.
Many young people spent yesterday opening presents, visiting extended relatives with their families and attending numerous events in the region.
A special shuttle bus service to Blackburn Cemetery has been introduced to cope with demand for the town’s 40,000 muslims as they pay their respects to the deceased, an important part of the celebrations.
Mohammed Khan, councillor for Wensley Fold, Blackburn, said he hoped that in the future more could be done to encourage mosque leaders to agree on a set date.
He said: “It would have been nice if Eid had been celebrated on the same day in England because some people have friends or family in different parts of the country who they find it difficult to celebrate with due to the difference.
“Hopefully next year Eid will fall on the same day for everyone because it’s such an important day for the whole Muslim community.” Mayor for Blackburn with Darwen Council Coun Sallim Mulla spent time with his grandchildren yesterday before having a large family meal. He said: “It’s a special day that marks the end of a very spiritual month.
“It would have been nice to have celebrated on the same day but I have no problem as it is and I just hope that everyone celebrates in a dignified way.”