PORTLAND, Maine — Muslims from throughout Maine gathered at the Cross Insurance Arena today in downtown Portland to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.
The holiday marks the end of the monthlong Ramadan fast, a time when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. The Eid holiday includes three days of festivities following Ramadan. Outside the center, people of all ages arrived throughout the morning greeting one another with "Eid Mubarak," or "blessed Eid."
The fog and rain didn't discourage people from coming to show their devotion to Islam. Sairah Shir and her sister Haleema Shir, both of Cape Elizabeth, had intricate henna patterns on their hands for the celebration. They gathered with family and friends outside the center.
"A lot of people actually come here, from all over Maine," Sairah Shir says. "We all pray today in congregation, and after we pray we say 'Eid Mubarak' to everyone."
Inside the center, there were expressions of devotion and calls for "zakat," or charity, to help people who are less fortunate, a central tenet of Eid. The holiday is an occasion to forgive grievances with others and to ask forgiveness from God.