As expected, Eid Ul Fitr was celebrated on Saturday the 18th of July 2015 after the sighting of the moon, in some quarters the celebrations started on Friday the 17th. Eid is the festival of breaking of the fast celebrated at the end of Ramadhan.
Preparations started on Friday as residents of Mombasa thronged shopping malls and shops in the central business district. Traders with shops along Old town, Marikiti, Mwembe Tayari and Mwembe Kuku were doing brisk business as people stocked up for Idd. Foodstuffs, apparel and gift items were in high demand.
Most shops and businesses remained closed on Saturday as residents spent the better part of the morning in prayers. Mombasa leaders, and residents were united in prayer. The prayers were held at various grounds including Tononoka, Serani, Mbaraki and Mvita on Mombasa Island.
Political rivalry was also shunned as the Governor Ali Hassan Joho came face to face and hugged his long time rival Suleiman Shahbal. He also shared cordial moments with Senator Hassan Sarai who has been in the news lately with queries about the county financial audit.
Afterwards, it was a rush of colour as men in new Kanzu’s, women in stylish dress and children thronged the streets in “shamra shamra za Idd” (Idd Festivities)
Residents made merry with friends and family at their homes and various leisure spots around Mombasa. As expected, residents thronged Mama Ngina drive where vendors outdid themselves selling food, toys, horse rides and other forms of amusement to the residents. Other places that residents chose to make merry were City Mall, Lunar Park and Nyali Beach.
Goat traders at Soko la Mbuzi were almost out of stock by mid day while food traders who sell biryani, pilau and other delicacies in bulk were struggling to meet the demand.
As promised by the county commissioner Nelson Marwa, there was heightened police presence all over the city to ensure that the people had a secure Eid. Police were on the beat in numbers, alert and fully armed and supplemented by vehicle patrols.
Eid festivities continued through Sunday as most of the eateries were packed. The food court at City Mall was completely packed as were other popular restaurants Barka and Tarboush in old town.