Muslims End Ramadan, Starts Joyous Eid Al-Fitr; Christians Celebrate Hermosa Festival In Southern Philippines

October 12, 2007 at 3:20 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

End of the fasting month of Ramadan signals the start Friday Oct. 12, 2007 of the festive Eid Al-Fitr in Sulu province in southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct.12, 2007) – Muslims in the southern Philippines on Friday celebrated the Eid Al-Fitr that marked the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Some 10,000 Muslims, led by Gov. Sakur Tan, converged in front of the Sulu provincial capitol in Patikul town where they performed the Eid prayer.

“This is a celebration of faith, a renewal of the Muslim faith and the time to help the less fortunate or the poor. Muslims are celebrating the Eid all over the world and we, in Sulu celebrate the blessings of God and that is peace and prosperity,” Tan told the Mindanao Examiner.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and participate in pious activities such as charitable giving and peace-making. And at the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid Al-Fitr of the Festival of Fast-Breaking.

Eid Al-Fitr is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.

“The Eid (celebration) brings us, our family together. We eat and celebrate and pray together and thank Allah for all the blessings in life. It is also the time to help the poor,” one worshiper, Ibrahim Usman, said in a separate interview.

In Zamboanga City, Christians also celebrated the Hermosa Festival in honor of the century-old statue Virgin Mary, called Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza, brought there by the Spanish colonizers and believed by many locals to be miraculous.

The festival featured week-long novena masses, cultural shows, agricultural fairs, art, photo and flower garden exhibits, torch parades, fireworks, and carnivals. It all ended with a solemn procession attended by thousands of Catholics and a mass at the Fort Pilar, where the statue of the Virgin Mary is erected. (Mindanao Examiner)

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