A celebration of life and happiness: Photos

COLOURFUL dresses and big smiles lit up the afternoon on Backus Oval yesterday.

More than 150 people from the Islamic community in Bendigo dressed in their best to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

The event marked the end of the month of Ramadan and a sense of new spirit.

Bendigo Islamic community spokesman Heri Febriyamto said Ramadan was a time of spiritual reflection and an opportunity to cleanse the soul.

He said Ramadan ended with a special celebration known as Eid al-Fitr - which involves a feast with family and friends.

"We do praying during the morning and then celebrate during the evening," Mr Febriyamto said.

"It marks the end of Ramadan and fasting.

"The end of Ramadan takes us back to our origins.

"It celebrates a new spirit and a new time of starting over."

Mr Febriyamto said the day was also an opportunity to forgive each other.

He said it was a time of year that everyone dressed in their best.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated by donating $10 to $15 for impoverished people to celebrate the day.

Bendigo man Sameer Syed said the day was special because it concentrated on the generosity of each family.

He said it concentrated on families being together.

Mr Syed moved from Melbourne to Bendigo with his wife and two boys to work as an engineer for the Thales group.

He celebrated the day with his Muslim brothers and sisters.

He said the celebrations looked a lot different in India.

"There are actually two Eid celebrations - one at the end of Ramadan and another a few weeks after," he said.

"We celebrate the Hajj pilgrimage by having an Eid."

Ning and Michael Silverlock attended the event with their young daughter.

Mr Silverlock said the event was important to everyone who attended.

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