At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the festival of breaking the fast in large groups. But because of Corona, there will be no large family celebrations.
Eid: Baklava are part of the feast of breaking the fast at the end of Ramadan Photo: dpa/Bildfunk
The big street festival at the end of Ramadan in Neukolln has long been canceled. And even in families and among friends, Muslims are preparing for Eid in a very small circle. "We’ve already discussed in the family that we can’t all be together," says a Muslim woman from Kreuzberg, who doesn’t want to give her name publicly. "We also think about the health of the elders: My mother continues to keep her distance, we will celebrate in small groups of a few people or just pass by the front door for a short meeting," she says.
They want to do without sitting together for long periods in closed rooms as usual and without hugging each other. "This is of course very difficult, even the prayer at the end of Ramadan will not take place as usual, many pray at home," she says. "The mutual congratulations after praying are thus also missing."
Ramadan comes to an end on Saturday and Sunday, usually with celebrations and prayers over several days. Religious services have been allowed to take place again since the beginning of May, but only on a small scale (see info box).
The DAZ, the German-Arab Center for Education and Integration, which helps organize the street festival at the end of Ramadan in Neukolln, has also been advised in recent weeks to stay within the family for Eid and even there to bring together only small groups, says director Nader Khalil.
"We’ve also had a lot of requests recently about how to deal with funeral services, which can also only take place in a very small circle at the moment," he says. "We then say: express condolences and many other things can also be done on the phone or via social networks – even for Eid. So we don’t take any risks."
Religious services have been allowed to take place again since the beginning of May, but only on a small scale: Since the beginning of May, a maximum of 50 people have again been allowed to gather for religious services and meetings, but only in mosques or rooms that are designed for far more people. In smaller rooms, the number of participants is reduced accordingly. The distance and hygiene rules must be observed and the organizers must keep an attendance list. Funerals, baptisms, weddings and burials in a private setting may take place with a maximum of 20 participants. (usch)
Here, the social duty to contain the pandemic clearly outweighs the religious duty. This was also visible in the city. Sonnenallee was less busy than usual, he says. "People are afraid of contagion, they pull back," Khalil says.
"This year, there just won’t be an atmosphere of Ramadan, anywhere. It’s no different in Arab countries," he says. "Eid is a festival for children, and to bring generations together. You can’t hold children, and then it’s not a celebration anymore."
Khalil hopes the celebration is only postponed. "Our next major holiday is the Feast of the Sacrifice at the end of July," he says. "Maybe by then things will look different, so we can celebrate there again in a larger circle."