HUNDREDS of people poured into community festivals at the weekend to celebrate the end of Ramadan and fasting for Muslims.

Festivalgoers indulged in the two-day celebrations which begun in Cowley on Saturday and rolled over into a family funday Eid Extravaganza on Sunday.

Eid al-Fitr also called the 'festival of breaking the fast' is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world that marks the end of Ramadan – the month of fasting.

Organisers of both events used the weekend as an opportunity to raise awareness about key issues at the same time: mental health and protecting the environment.

Oxford Mail:

The Jericho Street Party also took place on Saturday, read what happened here.

Saturday’s festival was run in a collaboration between mental health charity Restore and The People’s Fair along Manzil Way in Cowley.

The family-friendly fiesta spilled onto the street with police, fire engines and halal food stalls setting up base for the crowds to follow.

Dancers in traditional dress also took to the stage and live music played from a white tent outside Restore’s base, which boasts a garden and cafe that is open most days.

Oxford Mail:

Fred Swanborough and Elaine Baker, who work at Restore said it was important to talk about mental health with everybody from different walks of life and break down stigmas.

They said: “The aim is to get the community together in the local area and celebrate Eid and also for us to raise the issue of mental health across the local community here because we want people to come to Restore if they want support or to come and just have some time out.

“Really it is just opening the doors up for everybody. Everybody has mental health and it doesn’t exclude anybody.

People will suffer who are Asian, Indian, British - it’s about breaking down the stigma of talking about mental health as a serious issue – 12 men lose their lives a week, that is too many.”

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Oxford Mail:

On Sunday, the party spilled into Cheney School with the message of 'everybody is welcome, young or old, Muslim or not'.

It was also used as a way to kick-start Oxford Green Week and raise awareness of protecting the planet – which was this years theme.

One of the three voluntary organisers, Shabnam Sabir explained that the theme meant food traders dishing out treats in biodegradable packaging and revellers being encouraged to ditch the car, switch to the saddle and bring along their reusable water bottle to get free h20.

As well as highlighting bigger issues at the free celebration there was also fun fair rides, Zorbing, go-karting, sports tasting sessions, a bake-off and farmyard animals.