Taipei to hold Eid al-Fitr celebration on Sunday

Taipei--The Taipei City government will hold an event on Sunday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, with Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) expected to hand out "red envelopes" to Muslim participants to symbolize his wishes for their good fortune.

The event scheduled to take place at the Taipei Travel Plaza near the Taipei Railway Station will feature a wide array of activities to celebrate the end of Ramadan, when people and families get together for prayers and fine food, the city's Department of Information and Tourism said.

Event attendees will be treated to music from Indonesian performers including Fitri Carlina, Septi Vhanesa, Relix Band, Sucy Suryati, Fresh Morning and X-series, according to the department.

There will also be on-site attractions, including interactive games, a halal market, free international calling service, and photo opportunities using instant cameras, it said.

In addition, Ko will show up to hand out 500 "red envelopes" with money stuffed inside to those on site who are lucky enough to get one.

The giving of money is a practice that is similar between Eid al-Fitr and Lunar New Year in the Chinese-speaking community.

It is hoped that the event will not only help Taipei build a reputation of being a Muslim-friendly city, but also highlight the value of cultural diversity, which Taipei cherishes, according to event organizer, the Department of Information and Tourism.

There is a connection between Eid al-Fitr and Lunar New Year because both celebrate family reunions, the department said.

However, department head Chien Yu-yen (???), said the "red envelopes" Ko will pass out will actually come in the color green, as that represents the celebration of life and health in the Muslim world.

Taiwan's Ministry of Labor has encouraged employers to allow their Muslim workers to observe Eid al-Fitr.

It is crucial that employers respect the religious beliefs of their foreign workers so as to create a more harmonious relationship between labor and management, the ministry said early this week.

Taiwan is home to some 252,000 Indonesian workers, 85 percent of whom are Muslims, data from the labor ministry shows.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel