From the news desk

Locals brave icy cold conditions for moon sighting

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Due to the bitter cold weather conditions, a smaller crowd of people turned up at Three Anchor Bay for the sighting of the new moon compared to previous years. With gloomy skies, light showers, chilly air and a high sea tide, at first the usually buzzing Seapoint Promenade seemed like a ghost town.

But with a bit of sunlight peaking out after 5pm, a stream of people then got their spots on the lawns. Some came prepared with warm blankets, jackets, beanies and scarves, while others brought along small tents to pitch on the grass.

Eight year old Amina was so excited at the prospect of being at the event, she and her two cousins did not let the rain stop them from playing on the swings in the little park here at Three Anchor Bay.

Warmly dressed for the cold weather

“I hope Eid tomorrow, it is cold here but my boots are keeping me warm,” Amina chirped excitedly.

Well known businessman Solly Noor brought his entire family out to the event and said that they have been attending it for years.

“Even though its cold we would not have missed this event. We come every year,” Noor added.

“We come here to eat and pray with our family and be amongst our fellow muslim brethren.”

Businessman Solly Noor and his family

48 year Shameema Vallie came as far as Mitchell’s Plain to be part of the event.

“Its our family tradition. The atmosphere is always amazing…like no where else in the world,” she said, setting out her family’s iftaar picnic.

For 21 year old Maahier De Vries, a first time moon sighter, it was an exciting experience.

“Its great to see the Muslim community braving the cold to be here and to keep this tradition alive.”

Youth from Paarl came out in a group as part of a youth initiative to engage youth in an Islamic event. All were excited as they brought food from various take away cafes for iftar time. One of the members of the Paarl Muslim Youth said it was their second year at this event and were enthusiastic about the youth being involved.

Youth from Paarl

VOC News also spotted some South African expats visiting from Australia with their families, as well as Muslims from other nationalities. There was large media contigent, with the event covered by SABC, ANN7 and Turkish TV.

ITV presenter Saawmiet Moos chats to Ebrahim Rasool
Some of the Maankykers, ulema, and members of VOC’s Board of Trust

As the rain stopped pouring more crowds gathered to this annual event, braving the cold weather with oversized jackets and long coats covering their traditional Islamic garments.

As the sun began to set people gathered around in order to break fast and commence the evening prayer in which young and old participated bringing the Muslim community together under one banner.

The call to Maghrib athaan was delivered by Haji Omar Gabier and everyone broke their fast in unison, with families sharing food amongst each other. Muslims and non Muslims agree that one of the most beautiful sites at the annual event is the mass salaah, led by the elders of the ulema.

Haji Omar Gabier makes the athaan
Haji Omar Gabier makes the athaan
The musallees perform Maghrib salah
The musallees perform Maghrib salah


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