6 June 2024

Muslims make up around 30% of the population in Phuket, where the migrant Malays originally settled. Islamic festivals are really famous on this resort island, especially the Eid al-Fitr festival, known as ‘the festival of breaking the fast’. 

This is an important day, when family and friends get together and celebrate, after a month of abstinence from food and drink during daylight hours.

In the morning, people here traditionally dress in their best attire to attend the festival and to take part in Eid prayers at the mosque. 

Mukarrom Mosque is one of the largest in Phuket, surrounded by the large Muslim community of Bang Tao. This year, the ceremony at the mosque is quite special, as it is the first such event in more than 2 years due to the pandemic. People here really missed the Eid festival a lot.

Vichit Wanyee, Imam (leader) of Mukarrom mosque, Said that “He feel proud and happy that he can finally meet and connect with each other, which in Arabic we call ‘Silaturrahim’. He can catch up with our friends about their life during the 2 years of pandemic.”

After the morning ceremony at the mosque, it is usually time to visit relatives and friends, to offer their greetings for the holiday. While most Muslim households will offer visitors food that they have prepared for the holiday.

One of the unique things that you find here during the Eid festival in the southern part of Thailand, especially in Phuket, is “Kanom Ton Tai”, dessert that looks like Kalamare, but this in Malay style.

This kind of dessert is usually served at the Eidul Fitri festival in the southern part of Thailand, especially in Phuket.

At night, children also get to enjoy some special activities, such as here, Choeng Thale Sub District Administrative Organisation, where they held a special event at the Mosque’s playground, along with free food and desserts.

Manoch Panchalad, Chief Executive of the Choeng Thale Sub-District Administrative Organisation, said that “The festival at night shows that Eidul Fitri is a joyful festival. It’s the day of happiness, smiles and sharing. We enjoy today’s festival under the Islamic tradition. It’s very good to make the young generation know that Eid is a happy day.”

There will be another Eid festival for Muslims in 3 months, called “Eid Al-Adha”, and people here hope that the COVID situation will get better and better, so they can have a joyful Eid again.

by Kitipat Chuensukjit