A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Center

Bristol Interfaith Coalition will host its second Ramadan celebration on May 21st, United Nations Day of Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development. The coalition hosted a similar event last May as well as several other Interfaith events in the past two years.

The evening will include speakers from many faiths discussing the role of charity in each, helping the community to see the commonalities between us and not the differences. Muslim speakers will offer an explanation of Ramadan, its rituals and traditions.  Non-Muslims will join with Muslims, breaking fast at sunset and then sharing a small meal (Iftar).

Ramadan begins this year in early May. The Muslim calendar has 28-day months and thus Ramadan falls earlier each year, moving around through the seasons. May 21st is the United Nations World Day of Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development and falls in the middle of Ramadan this year. The event is open to all and hopes that the discussion and shared meal will stimulate dialogue and development of new relationships.

Ramadan is a time for spiritual renewal. For an entire month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.  Through one’s actions during Ramadan, Muslims hope to set an example for themselves as to how they should live throughout the year and thus it is also a time spent finding ways to treat others with respect, performing charitable deeds and making time for devotion to God through prayer and study.

Families and guests are often invited to homes to break fast together.  A community gathering such as this one helps build mutual understanding, friendship and to share the “Ramadan spirit”.  

The Bristol Interfaith Coalition invites you to attend this special evening at no cost.  The Coalition asks that attendees bring a willingness to learn and to share traditions with others in peace and fellowship. For those who so choose, the group invites you to also fast for the day or maybe just delay your evening meal until 8:12 p.m. when after brief prayers, Iftar will be served.

Fasting will make those who choose to do it, more compassionate towards those who suffer food insecurity and who are hungry daily. For many, going without a meal is not just one month a year, it’s a daily occurrence. Islam, like all religions teaches compassion for the poor. Guests at the Taste of Ramadan event will also be able to be charitable by making donations to Brian’s Angels and Agape House, two of Bristol’s charities who help our homeless.

Whether or not people choose to fast, all are encouraged to RSVP since we have limited seating. Please email BristolInterfaith@gmail.com with the number attending or RSVP on their Facebook page event by searching for @BristolInterfaithCoalition. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. at the Bartlett A. Giamatti Little League Center,  335 Mix Street, Bristol with presentations beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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