Thousands join in ‘Super Eid’ celebration at U.S. Bank Stadium

Published 8:24 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

By Chris Bowling, Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Thousands of people knelt in prayer at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday morning, on carpets unfurled atop the turf, to observe Eid al-Adha.

The Muslim holiday brought about 30,000 to the stadium for an event organizers called Super Eid, which offered a chance to pray, share their faith and come together as a community. The annual holiday has long been celebrated in the Twin Cities for years, but this is the first time it was held at the sports venue.

For many, holding prayers in the building symbolizes acceptance into American culture.

“I have been here for 43 years, and this has not happened before,” said Syed Dara. “It’s really, really historic.”

The holiday honors the Prophet Ibrahim, also known as Abraham in Judaism and Christianity, and his willingness to sacrifice his son for God. It comes at the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage. It is one of the holiest days of the year for Muslims, who celebrate with prayer, shared meals and gifts.

In some places, families who can afford it slaughter an animal and share the meat with family and charities. No animals were sacrificed at the stadium Tuesday.

Organizers had worried some people might protest at the stadium after misinformation about the event spread social media. But on Tuesday morning, there didn’t appear to be any protesters present.

Instead, people held signs with welcoming messages greeting thousands as they trickled into the stadium.

Amber Geist drove from Menomonie, Wis., on Monday, stayed with a friend and arrived at 7:30 a.m. to show support. She said hundreds of attendees had stopped to say thank you, take pictures and give hugs.

Elham Mahmoud jumped from her place in line as she waited to get into the stadium to take a selfie with Geist and her friend Lizz Powers.

“Sometimes it feels like the hate toward us is getting more and more (prevalent),” Mahmoud said. “But there’s still loving people who want to spread their love.”