(Posted February 4, 2002)

The Juniata College student club, United Cultures of Juniata College (UCJC) will host the sixth annual Eid celebration dinner at 6 p.m., Feb. 9 in the Ellis College Center Ballroom. 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 $3 for students, $7 for nonstudents and $3 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased at the Ellis Information Desk, 641-3000. A total of 200 tickets are available.

The dinner is prepared by some of the 20-plus members of the UCJC. Students will take turns working all day Friday and through the night to prepare such Middle Eastern dishes as chicken curry, eggplant casserole, vegetarian curry, tabouli and other dishes. During the dinner, club members also will perform dances from countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Africa, Iran and India.

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.