MORAY’S Muslim community came together to mark Eid al-Adha at Elgin Town Hall this morning.
Celebrations are usually hosted at Elgin Mosque, but were moved to the Town Hall due to social distancing rules – with Borough Briggs having also agreed to host prayers before wet grass got in the way.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated from Thursday, July 30, until Monday, August 3, in the United Kingdom and is the second Eid celebration of the year.
However, celebrations for Eid al-Fitr, marked on May 12 and 13, were cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That made getting the community back together this morning all the more important, according to Zafar Ali of Elgin Mosque.
He said: “We normally hold Eid prayers in the mosque – and they are attended by everyone, even people who don’t regularly pray on a Friday.
“There was a chance we wouldn’t be able to do Eid at all this year, and that would be like missing Christmas after missing Easter.
“So we have got to thank all the volunteers at Elgin Town Hall, and Elgin City, for making this possible. Eid is all about community and it was a great gesture from both to allow us to hold our prayers. It’s great when the community comes together.
“Everything went perfectly well. It was a lovely day, it was lovely to see everyone smile and lovely to see an exchange of cultures.”
Between 80 and 100 families are involved with the Elgin Mosque, spanning from Forres to Banff.
There were just less than 200 people at the Town Hall, according to Mr Ali.
He added: “There weren’t as many people as expected, a few decided to stay at home for shielding.
“It was nice to see people in the crowd wearing masks because I wasn’t sure if everyone would adhere to restrictions.
“Normally we hug and shake hands but we couldn’t do that. But the fact we could see our family is better than nothing.
“We really appreciate that.”