By Jon Rumley
Millions of Muslims in Canada (and nearly two billion around the world) are celebrating Eid al-Adha, also known as the “festival of sacrifice,” which begins on July 20 this year.
It’s one of the most important Islamic holidays of the year. It’s a time for family and friends to gather so everyone can enjoy a good meal and traditional sweets together no matter where they are. That’s why families always prepare ahead of time for this special occasion, says Walmart Canada category team analyst Ali Jahanzaib.
“Eid means a lot to everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in the Middle East or Southeast Asia, or any part of the world. As long as you’re Muslim, Eid means a lot,” he explained.
The father of two from Brampton, Ont., says the feeling he gets from celebrating Eid with his family means the world to him.
“There’s nothing better than that. Having your relatives around definitely means a lot,” Ali said. “The most important part of Eid is ensuring everyone is taken care of.”
Food is essential for Eid and many Muslims shop at Walmart Canada and Walmart.ca to find what they need to help them prepare for the celebration.
“Eid is all about food and a lot of sweets,” said Walmart customer Sundas Iqbal, who shops at the Heartland store in Mississauga, Ont. “I can find almost everything there.”
The mother of two bought Eid decorations and cookie cutters at Walmart to bake with her kids. She makes a traditional sweet dessert called seviyan, which includes vermicelli, dried fruit and nuts.
“That is a must on Eid and Walmart usually has a bunch of them close to Eid.”
She also prepares a pudding called kheer, which contains plenty of nuts.
“We’ve had it since I was a child,” Sundas said. “My grandma would always make it and I’m doing the same thing for my kids.”
That’s where local suppliers like Amira come in. They’re a family-run business based in Montreal that provides Walmart stores with dried fruit, nuts and Middle Eastern food products from their Canadian owned and operated facility in Montreal.
Amira is one of the more than 2,200 Canadian suppliers Walmart Canada works with to ensure our customers can access what they want.
“We know very well that our target consumers, they go to Walmart. It’s one of the stores that they visit on a weekly basis,” said Amira CEO Adel Boulos.
Amira was started by Egyptian immigrants in 1978 and imports food from 16 countries. At Eid time, they see sales increase for items like tahini, halva, phyllo dough and honey. Some of these foods are integral parts of the treats that Muslims like to eat at Eid.
But this holiday isn’t just about sweets.
“The most important thing for Eid is the sacrifice,” said Ali, who’s been a Walmart associate since 2004. “That’s the meaning of Eid. It’s not just celebrating ourselves, it’s celebrating everyone.”
Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating!