Moon sighting signals beginning of EidEthnic Affairs
Muslim New Zealanders will today celebrate the Islamic festival Eid-ul Fitr following the sighting of the new moon and will come together to celebrate at Parliament this week, Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins says.
Eid-ul Fitr, is celebrated by Muslims all over the world when the fasting month of Ramadan is completed.
“For members of the Muslim community, Eid is about celebrating the special meaning of Islam in their lives. Eid also gives all New Zealanders opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contribution the Muslim community makes to our nation’s religious, cultural and ethnic landscape,” Ms Collins says.
Ms Collins will host around 120 members of New Zealand’s diverse Muslim community, religious leaders and diplomatic representatives at Parliament on Wednesday 30 July to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the achievements of Muslim Kiwis.
“New Zealand’s diversity is one of our nation’s greatest assets. When we come together and connect at public celebrations such as Eid, we build trust and understanding between communities and appreciate new perspectives.”
New Zealand’s Muslim community is made up of more than 40 ethnicities and dates back to the arrival of Chinese gold miners in 1847. Census 2013 shows there are around 45,000 Muslims living in New Zealand, almost double the 23,000 who called New Zealand home in 2001.