Attendees at the third annual Halal Food and Eid Festival at NewPark Mall in Newark on Saturday had more than 20 Halal food, drink and dessert vendors to choose from in addition to shopping at a large bazaar with more than 30 vendors offering a diverse selection of items such as clothing, jewelry, books, gifts, toys and artwork from around the world.
Held in the main parking lot between Sears and Macy’s, the event attracted approximately 8,000 people, equal to a year ago, according to Irfan Rydhan, Halal fest founder and event director. “This is about the same as last year but this year we did see more people of other faiths and communities attend — which was one of our goals: to market ‘Halal’ foods to the mainstream community more,” Rydhan said.
In Arabic, Halal means permissible. It refers to religious dietary guidelines similar to kosher food for Jews. Alcohol and pork are prohibited. Eid means festival or holiday in Arabic. Muslims recently celebrated Eid al-Fitr, “Feast of Breaking the Fast” to mark the end of the month of Ramadan.
The organizers of the Halal Food Festival hope that they will be able to attract even more visitors next year.
Originally published on www.mercurynews.com