The Canterbury Eid Festival is a new project aimed at providing large scale events on the advent of the two Eids. Let’s review the need for such a project in this blog post.
Canterbury’s Eid History
Our community has experienced a whole range of Eid days. There have been memorable events sometimes, and…ones we’d rather not talk about. This project aims to create a consistently memorable event for the muslim families of Christchurch.
Christchurch prides itself for its ability to showcase diversity within its major cultural and religious events, such as the Multicultural Galore event, Cultural Lantern Festival and Diwali Festival. The Canterbury Eid Festival has the potential to open its doors to a larger community, representing Islam and its highly regarded festivities.
The event will offer a wide variety of games, food stalls, educational displays, and a collection of stage shows presenting diverse cultural performances, appealing to all family members from children to adults alike.
This event is, and will remain, a non-profit endeavour with the main purpose to serve and bring together the Muslim community on the joyous occasion of Eid.
Our Eid festival project started up to achieve a wide range of aims. All very important and close to our hearts:
1. Create a Family Focus
At the moment there is no large scale festival for muslim families in Canterbury throughout the year. The Eids are a perfect reason to have one! We hope to give muslim families a joyous occasion they can cherish together with activities, games, stalls, foods and performances..
2. Community Revival
We need a sense of collective community for the muslims in Christchurch and wider Canterbury. Our team and its supporters believe this project is critical for the Canterbury Muslim community whose community spirit feels suppressed due to the earthquakes and lack of activity.
3. Develop Identity
This event can provide muslim children and young adults a stronger sense of pride for their identity and reconnect them with their cultures and community. We want Eid to be ‘not just some other day’ for our children but something they can remember as they grow up here in New Zealand. Something to increase their connection with Islam and the muslim community, our cultural corners and treasure hunt for example interact with interesting artifacts and trivia related to Islam’s rich cultural history.
4. Connect with NZ’s Wider Community
Although primarily for Muslims in canterbury, this project is a great opportunity to give others outside the Muslim community an opportunity to experience the life and joy that can be found in the muslim community. This festival is a great bridge building exercise with great potential to improve relations and perceptions with the local kiwi community.
5. Portray a Positive Media Story
Muslims and Islam get a lot of media attention lately due to the global politics and atrocities highlighted and proclaimed to be in our name. A festival can create a positive profile in the media to counter negative perceptions, something our team will be following up on with our friends in government and local media outlets.
6. Stimulate Muslim Businesses
Many of our Muslim ancestors were entrepreneurial traders and for here in Christchurch this quality has proven still evident. We will be drawing from a huge list of potential food stall owners, sole traders and businesses that deserve your support, and the Eid festival can provide a positive avenue for these local muslim entrepreneurs to build their profile.
According to recent research there are an estimated 3000 muslims in Christchurch. Our marketing team’s aim is to ensure every muslim in canterbury knows of our eid events through every possible channel.
The organizing committee will be using facebook’s event invite tool as our primary marketing method, but we will be also advertising via posters, local businesses, government contacts, email marketing, text marketing and more to reach every corner of our community.
Our planning team of 20 team members have been working hard whenever and wherever we can and without any financial gain to make this event as smooth as possible.
Check out our blog to go behind the scenes and catch up on our volunteer’s hard work in preparation for this event.
On the day itself over 50 extra volunteers from the community have registered to be involved in the running of the event… but we may need more for such a huge event!