Thousands gather for major Eid celebrations in Birmingham

In what has become a Birmingham staple, thousands of Muslims gathered in Small Heath Park on Saturday July 9 to mark ‘Eid Al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.

Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councilor Majid Mahmood, said this year’s event was smaller than usual due to COVID precautions as well as the council’s decision to authorize the organization of ten similar events in the city’s parks.

“Today has been absolutely amazing. We have just finished the prayers and it is obligatory for all Muslims to pray on Eid day,” Councilor Mahmood said, Birmingham Live reported.

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According to the Mahmood, this year’s event was attended by between 40,000 and 50,000 people.

“A few years ago the whole crowd would be bigger than Edgbaston, Villa and Blues combined,” he said.

“This is not the turnout we used to get because as a city council we have allowed ten Eid prayers this year in and around the city centre, including Aston Park, Morris Park at Alum Rock, Handsworth Park, Sutton Park and here at Little Heath Park.

More Eid Events

The decision to hold more events like this is the result of consultations with the Muslim community, said event organizer Saleem Ahmed.

“It’s very lively, families are there and the sun is shining. It is one of the biggest community events in the city and Birmingham should be proud of it,” he said.

The event, organized by Green Lane Masjid and the community center, has seen growing numbers since 2012, when 12,000 people attended.

`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, marks the end of the hajj season and is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, along with `Eid Al-Fitr.

`Eid begins with special prayers to mark the day.

A financially able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or a goat or shares with six others the sacrifice of a camel or a cow as an act of worship during the four days of Eid Al-Adha celebrations.