Hundreds of families gathered in a Blackburn Park to celebrate the festival of Eid.
Corporation Park hosted ‘Eid in the Park’ prayers which was attended by both men and women. It was the first time in two years that Eid prayers could be conducted without social distancing or any type of restrictions.
The warm weather meant numbers were higher than was expected with organisers having to place extra sheeting on the grass in front of the historic Greenhouse.
Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings and, for many, slaughtering of livestock and giving meat to the needy.
The imam spoke of ‘sacrifice’ and also how in the past 18 months humanity had come together to fight an epidemic.
There was relief for many who were just glad things had returned to some sort of normality. Last July a day before the second Eid festival the government had imposed restrictions in parts of the UK. Households were told they were not permitted to visit their friends and families as restrictions were tightened.
Ahmed, 43 of Audley was attending with his family to take part in the prayers. He said: “It seems a bit strange to be honest but it is lovely to be here and in the open air. We have been looking forward to this for a long time.
“The atmosphere here in the park is different. You see people from all parts of Blackburn and of all different backgrounds. People are just so happy to be able to do prayers again in this way.”
Younis, 29 said it was pleasing to see so many families attending together, “Normally we attend the mosque and the women tend to stay at home. It is great that here in the park you can bring your whole family.
“The weather has been brilliant.”
Eid in the Park festivities continue in Corporation Park this weekend with a funfair and a wide range of food stalls on display for families.