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The cold weather did not dampen the spirits of the revellers at Chaand Raat 2016
The Premier of WA Colin Barnett and the Leader of the Opposition Mark McGowan joined the Perth celebration of Chaand Raat this year and sent out their wishes on the festive occasion.
They were among hundreds of Eid revellers who congregated at the Ascot Racecource on the wintry night of 5 July. It was the second annual Ramadan celebration of this scale.
Friends and families came together to mark the end of Ramadan which denotes the 30 days of sunrise to sunset fasting. Muslims observe this fast to remind themselves of the suffering of those less fortunate. They eat only before dawn (‘suhur’) and post dusk (‘iftaar’), and even refrain from consuming water.
The Chaand Raat event began with a reading of the Holy Quran by Amir Qureshi followed by the Australian national anthem sung by the audience.
The sister duo Dilla and Hamna Suhadji welcomed everyone with recitation of Nasheed.
The eagerly awaited cultural performances included solo singers Safira and Rihana. Class Act performers, Indonesian dancers and Zhara Middle Eastern dance group were a welcome new dimension. Rising from the crowds, Chinese lion dancers caught everyone’s attention and added to the festive mood with their thumping drum beats. Bollywood dances taught by Sunita gave Jhoom performances just like their name. Naveed Khan and crew’s stunning Attan Pashto Dance brought the house down.
Amidst this naach-gaana, the warm aroma of charcoal chicken filled the pandal. But it was the lure of the biryanis at the stalls that proved the hardest to resist! Washed down with hot Kashmiri teas and soups, the crowds managed to brave the cold to party on!
The director of the Chaand Raat event, Syed Atiq ul Hassan spoke for all present when he said, “Such events have great significance in modern life as they help create harmony between cultures.”
Visitor Anzuman rocked in with her sister Surobhi and brother-in-law. Being from Bangladesh, she could not believe such a large scale event in Perth would offer so much to them.
For Sangeetha and Shurna, it was a girls’ outing as well as celebration; they came with friends to enjoy the wonderful spread of food, and did not leave disappointed.
The stalls were seen jam packed with people purchasing winter caps, bangles, henna, sarees, kurtis, make-up products, food and much more. With rides for kids and shopping and food for the adults, there was plenty of warmth in the air even if the night was cold.
The young talent Omair Chaudhry, event organiser, paid his tributes to Sufi qawaals and also invited the Presidents of noted organisations onto the stage including PAWA, ISWA and Hindi Samaj to thank them for being the backbone of the event.
The official ceremony came to an end with a peace song but the revellers carried on late into the night.