Each year, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the day after Ramadan, to mark the end of the month of fasting.
"It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace, fellowship, brotherhood and unity," wrote the former Howard County Muslim Council president, Rizwan Siddiqi.
He explained Eid-ul-Fitr to me as a joyous occasion with important religious significance. Siddiqi, who currently serves as the United Maryland Muslim Council president, said the celebration is a time for Muslims to "thank God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the month of Ramadan to help them practice self control."
Muslims throughout the world celebrate this day by gathering at a central place or mosque to worship and spend time with friends and family members while enjoying delicious food.
Every year, Siddiq hosts an open house to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr at his Ellicott City home where he invites hundreds of friends and family members, in addition to local and state elected official.
This year Siddiqi and his wife Shahnaz, daughter Sadia and her husband Yousuf, daughter Sadaf and son Moiz were joined by over 150 people at their open house, where guests enjoyed a delicious buffet from Shahi Grill, a Pakistani restaurant in Catonsville.
Dignitaries at the open house included County Executive Ken Ulman, Ellen Flynn Giles, county Board of Education chairwoman, Dr. Clarence Lam, county Community Action Council board of directors chairman, and Maryland Governor's Office of Community Initiatives Director Izzy Patoka and chief of staff Elizabeth Hines.
"How wonderful it was for Rizwan to open his home on this important celebration. It was a special opportunity to learn about each others traditions so we grow together as a community," Giles said. remarked.
To learn more about the Muslim community in Howard County and Maryland, go to the Howard County Muslim Council Facebook page or website at http://www.hcmc-md.org or United Maryland Muslim Council website at http://www.ummc-md.org.
Only two more Saturday Ellicott City Historic Tonge Row Concerts on the Courtyard from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. — The Wafflers on Aug. 23 and Radio Monkey on August 30. Bring a blanket or chairs to enjoy an evening under the stars with free live music. Stop by the Wine Bin for wine, beer or spirits and purchase artisan pizza and BBQ from the mobile food stores of Rib'n & Blues BBQ and River House Pizza. Sweet treats are available at ScoopDee Doo ice cream shop and Little Market Cafe & Bakery.
Tonge Row is located off Lot D at 3731 Hamilton St., where there is ample free parking.
When the concert ends at 8:30 p.m., continue the outdoor fun by heading over to the Wine Bin for the store's free 9 p.m. Saturday outdoor movie series in the store's parking lot. The August Wine Bin movies are "Life of Pi" (PG) on Aug. 23 and "Princess Bride" (PG) on Aug. 30.
The Bin offers a wine tasting before each movie, ice coolers to chill beer and wine purchased from the store and popcorn and bottled water for sale to benefit Voices for Children of Howard County.
While the Historic Tonge Row Concerts in the Courtyard end in August, the Wine Bin Saturday outdoor movies continue through September when the movies start time is moved up to 8 p.m. For a complete listing of Wine Bin movies, go to http://www.winebinec.com then click on "Events" and "Summer Movie" tabs.
The Shrine of St. Anthony is hosting a free Historical Tour of the Manor House and Shrine on Sunday, Aug. 31, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Lead by Roger Whelan, a former federal bankruptcy judge, the family-friendly walking tour is approximately 60 to 90 minutes. Learn about the 70-year-old Italian Renaissance Shrine and Friary and the rich history of the property and Manor House that dates back to the founding of the colony of Maryland.