Socially-distanced Eid celebrations ‘Put some smiles on the children’s faces’

Yellowknife's Muslim community was forced to be creative when it came to celebrating Eid. A drive-thru allowed for people to celebrate while social distancing. (Photo courtesy of Nazim Awan)

The three-day Islamic celebration of the end of Ramadan, Eid-al-Fitr, is usually a social affair.

But with the global COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules, the Muslim community of Yellowknife was forced to be creative.

This included a drive-thru Eid celebration on Sunday, where organizers handed out gifts and snacks to passing cars.

“We were just hoping to create some Eid festivities,” said Nazim Awan, chair of the Islamic Centre of Yellowknife. “We decided that we’ll offer something that at least people can feel it’s Eid.”

Awan said Eid celebrations are usually held at large public spaces involving a reception and meal. There is usually a community barbecue and gift exchanges to follow.

Awan said it was disappointing for the community to be unable to gather, but he understood the situation and felt they made the best of it.

“We put some smiles on the children’s faces and family’s faces,” he said.

The event brought over 65 cars to the drive-thru, held off Franklin Ave, where the new mosque is being built; although construction of the mosque has been delayed as a result of COVID-19, Awan said.

The GNWT Phase two of reopening will allow faith based gatherings to resume for groups of fewer than 25 people.

When this happens, Awan said he has a space rented on Range Lake Rd. which will allow the community to gather while following all the safety protocols.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from eastern Ontario. He has worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is very excited to live and work in Yellowknife and learn more about the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at luke.carroll@cklbradio.com.