Muslims welcome the first ever celebration of the festival at the White House with a gathering of Muslim community leaders
As about four million Muslims across America celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, an important holiday in the Muslim calendar on Wednesday, the White House would also join the festivities for the first time ever.
The White House will be having an Eid-ul-Adha celebration hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. The event will be attended by Muslim community leaders.
The news of Harris hosting the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations was shared by none other than President Joe Biden himself in a statement wishing the Muslim community on the festival.
READ: More US school districts acknowledging Ramadan and Eid (March 24, 2023)
â€œIn the United States, we are proud to be home to millions of Muslims who enrich our nationâ€™s cultural fabric and contribute to our shared prosperity,â€ he stated. â€œWe value the countless contributions American Muslims make to our society, from education and healthcare to business and public service.â€
The news came as a happy surprise for Muslims across the country. For Maryam Yousaf, a first generation Muslim American, this comes as a moment of great pride.
A high school student in Illinois, she told the American Bazaar, â€œGrowing up, I had to explain my festivals to my friends. But now, it’s delightful that they know about Ramadan and Eid. Gestures such as these by the President and the first lady, would continue building more awareness about other Muslim festivals and traditions.â€
Tarik Zain, another Indian Muslim, living in Chicago says, â€œA heartfelt gratitude. We are happy to see our holidays and traditions being celebrated in the mainstream. It makes us feel seen, heard and included and totally reflects American values.â€
Over a month ago, Biden had hosted a reception at the White House to mark Eid-ul-Fitr, the other and bigger Muslim holiday.
While this may be the first time an event has been planned in the White House on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, for years, Eid-ul-Fitr, the other and bigger Muslim holiday has been marked at the White House.
The White House Iftar dinner is an annual event hosted by the President and the First Lady to celebrate Ramadan â€“ the Muslim month of fasting. The tradition was started back in 1996 by Hillary Clinton when she hosted a Eid celebration.
Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama continued with the tradition. Donald Trump broke the tradition that had continued for 20 years in 2017 by not hosting an Iftar dinner, but later in 2018 resumed the tradition.
In 2021, the White House Eid celebration was held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic.