The much-loved Muslim festival, Eid-el-fitri, was celebrated with much pomp and reverence across many of the 36 states of the Federation. In Benin, the ancient city of many moats, Bloomshire had the remarkable pleasure of witnessing an array of activities at the King’s square where hundreds of Muslims gathered to celebrate and have fun.
With the people maintaining an unofficial age-group arrangement; a group of teenagers playing a game said to the ‘African Basketball’ caught Bloomshire’s attention first. The game, an extremely calculative one, entails the throwing of a hose by the player into a motley assortment of bottles arranged in rows and columns.
In another group, young adults were seen, much to the delight of the available traders, purchasing and munching happily items like Ice cream, suya, yoghurt, ground nut etc.
A bar at the square called HayBravo enjoyed a lot of foot traffic as people of different age groups gathered there to talk, laugh and merry with all kinds of drinks; both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Families seated on the grass having what looked like a picnic pockmarked the square, and they were beaming with smiles as photographers, who had quite a busy time, were snapping away.
The Eid-el-Fitri means many things to different people. For Zainab and Mariam, two teenage sisters, it is simply a period to unwind, eat and have fun after days of fasting. But as for Fatimo, a beautiful young lady in her 20s, it is a time to seek God’s face for forgiveness and guidance for the remainder of the year. She was only at the King’s square to catch up with friends and grab a few drinks.
For Miss Dauda Aminat, a civil servant, Eid-el-Fitri represents a ‘’season where the Muslims felicitate with one another, show love, give to the needy and pray together after Ramadan’’. She also told Bloomshire how she made pounded yam and egusi soup for her family before leaving for King’s square to celebrate with friends.
Others, dressed curiously in similar attires, claimed to have just come for sight-seeing and relaxation.
It was impossible not to see the joy on the faces of the people as they made merry and without doubt, it is safe to reach the conclusion that it was an enjoyable Eid-el-Fitri for Muslims in Benin City.
Story sent in by Popoola Faith