Hundreds attend Eid festival in Naperville, Illinois neighborhood

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Henna painting was one of several activities at the second annual Eid-ul-Adha festival held June 25, 2022, in the White Eagle neighborhood of Naperville, Illinois. Photo: Asian Media USA

Muslim residents of the White Eagle neighborhood in Naperville, Illinois,  hosted their second annual Eid Fest on Saturday, June 25, 2022, on the grounds of the local White Eagle elementary school.

More than four hundred people from White Eagle and the surrounding neighborhoods attended Eid-ul-Adha,   according to a press release from Asian Media USA.

Eid ul-Adha, sometimes called ‘big Eid’, or “feast of the sacrifice” comes at the end of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, celebrated this year on July 9. This Eid honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah’s command. In Christianity and Judaism, this is told as the story of Abraham and his son Isaac.

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Eid, meaning ‘celebration’ or ‘festival’, is a religious holiday  celebrated by Muslims. There are two dedicated times of Eid in Islam that Muslims celebrate. Eid ul-Fitr, which literally means “the celebration of breaking the fast” sometimes called ‘small Eid’, is celebrated to commemorate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Organizers of the Eid-ul-Adha event in Naperville said the idea for the neighborhood festival was born last year to bring the Muslim community of White Eagle together with its non-Muslim neighbors after COVID.

More than 400 Muslim and non-Muslim residents of White Eagle in Naperville, Illinois enjoyed Eid-ul=-Adha festivities in the local elementary school grounds June 25, 2022. Photo: Asian Media USA

One of the golden rules in Islam is to love your neighbor as you love yourself, organizers sadi, and they wanted non-Muslim neighbors to meet their Muslims neighbors, share in their celebration and clarify misconceptions people have about Islam and Muslims.

Last year’s event was so well received that organizers decided to make it  and invite the adjacent and adjoining neighborhoods to the festival, the press release said.

Each Muslim household in the White Eagle neighborhood volunteered and contributed financially to helping put the event together along with local business sponsorship from The Moin Haque Group, Hyline Dental, Movement Mortgage, AIC Multiple Line Insurance Agency, and Avis Budget car rental.

Free games and activities were available for attendees to enjoy at the Eid-ul-Adha festivities June 25, 2022, in White Eagle Elmentary school grounds, in the neighborhood of White Eagle in Naperville, Illinois. Photo: Asian Media USA

The event had free rides, games, face painting, and henna tattoos. Local food vendors offered a variety of cuisines that included Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern and American. Vendors were also selling ethnic clothing and jewelry.

The event was also attended by some local officials including Evelyn Sanguinetti, the 47th lieutenant governor of Illinois, Judge Kavita Athanikar, Circuit Court Judge in the 18th Judicial Circuit (DuPage), and Alderwoman Shweta Baid Ward of the Aurora, IL 10th ward.

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