Thanks to COVID, Eid in Lewiston will be a quieter public event

LEWISTON — Every year Muslims gather in Lewiston for the Islamic holiday of Eid. Attended by thousands, they come together either at the armory or The Colisee for prayer.

But not this year, said Rilwan Osman, executive director of the Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services in Lewiston.

Because of the pandemic, there will be a smaller morning Eid prayer gathering at the Longley School gym.

“Many will come and pray there, while practicing social distancing and face coverings,” Osman said.

He has estimated that the Lewiston immigrant population numbers between 5,000 to 7,000, and that most are Muslims.

Eid is celebrated by Muslims around the world; it breaks a monthlong period of fasting during daylight hours called Ramadan.

If you greet a Muslim on Thursday and want to evoke a smile, Hawo Abdille of Lewiston recommends saying: “Eid Mubarak.”

It means “Happy Eid,” she said.

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