(Posted March 3, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College student clubs Muslim Students Association, United Cultures of Juniata College and Club International will host the annual Eid celebration dinner at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 15 in Baker Refectory in Ellis Hall. The celebration is held in recognition of the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

All are invited to take part in the dinner. Tickets are $6 for students, $8 for nonstudents. Tickets can be purchased at the information desk.
The dinner is prepared by members of the three sponsoring clubs. Students will take turns working all day Friday and through the night to prepare such Middle Eastern dishes as chicken curry, vegetarian curry, tabouli and other dishes.
The students also provide entertainment during the dinner. This year, the students will perform a Debkah dance and an Attan dance. Debkah is a traditional Arab folk dance that also is the national dance for many Arab countries. Debkah is a dance of community and is performed by holding hands and stomping the feet in rhythm, emphasizing a connection to the land. Attan is a traditional Afghan dance that is usually performed accompanied by a drum.
The Eid celebration is a feast commemorating the end of Ramadan, Islam's holiest period of the year. During Ramadan, a month-long event when the holy Koran is revealed, Muslims devote themselves to spiritual contemplation. They also refrain from eating and drinking -- even water -- during daylight hours.
The Ramadan fast is intended to inspire a sense of identification with the hungry. In the United States, some Muslims also see it as an opportunity to refrain from participating in America's consumer culture.
On the day of Ramadan's conclusion, Muslims worldwide celebrate with the Eid-al-Fitr feast. Eid-al-Fitr, meaning "great day," is a celebration that customarily includes a vast array of food and drinks, festive dancing and singing, an exchange of presents and attending prayer sessions at the mosque.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.