Meet the Birmingham Muslims who gathered for a festive Ramadan bazaar in Sparkbrook ahead of Eid celebrations
Muslim families enjoyed a fun day at Piccadilly Banqueting Suite on the Stratford Road in Sparkbrook
Muslims from across Birmingham descended on Sparkbrook this weekend for an Eid shopping extravaganza, ahead of festive celebrations as Ramadan begins to wind down this week.
With around five days left for the holy month of fasting to complete, Muslim families were treated to a fun day at Piccadilly Banqueting Suite on the Stratford Road, in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, where a vast range of gifts, sweets, cakes, clothes, toys and jewellery were on show alongside cartoon mascots and a large indoor bouncing castle for kids.
Organised by local charity ISRA UK, the free bazaar was held to provide local residents an opportunity to buy and sell goods to ease cost-of-living struggles, and to also allow members of the public to fundraise for good causes, including appeals for Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Uganda and Pakistan.
The celebrations were organised separately to a set of market stalls on Ladypool Road and Coventry Road in Small Heath where police and trading standards officers were investigating goods being sold without licences amid concerns about noise and traffic - and officers were attacked.
An excited stream of visitors popped into the Sparkhill venue where around 20 stalls showcased South Asian and Middle Eastern delicacies and snacks, traditional clothes including abayas, hijabs and evening wear; make-up and accessories, perfumes, Eid cards and party cakes.
Larger-than-life mascots of popular Islamic cartoon characters Omar & Hanna were on hand to entertain children at the family-friendly event, as queues formed for henna hand painting in preparation for Eid al-Fitr celebrations, expected to begin on Friday (21 April).
ISRA UK volunteer Tabassum Bibi helped organise the event and hopes it brings festive cheer to families during difficult times. Among the many food stalls at the bazaar, generously iced cakes and sickly sweet treats were in high demand.
Yasmin Askar owns Dressline UK, an evening clothing brand offering handmade exquisite luxury gowns, featuring intricate designs inspired by cross-cultural embroidered motifs and patterns.
During Ramadan, many Muslims have been fasting during daylight hours - from dusk to sunset - focusing on self-reflection and God, while refraining from food, drink, smoking and other worldly pleasures.
During the month, a time for charitable work, ISRA UK have been providing food packs and aid to families and villages across the world but especially in Turkey and Syria, where earthquakes since February have killed an estimated 55,000 people and impacted hundreds of thousands more.
The Birmingham-based organisation has additionally sent teams of volunteers to the region to assist with food and shelter provisions and are continuing to do so during Ramadan and the upcoming Eid period.
Eid al-Fitr will be announced for British Muslims at the end of this week based on a sighting of the crescent moon. The festival which concludes Ramadan is expected to take place on Friday 21 April.
Here’s a look at the celebrations: