Sunday, May 15, 2016

IFS Spring Carnival 2016

Our local mosque, the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, holds a Spring Carnival every year. This year, with the weather being really nice and warm, we decided to check it out with the kids. Yesterday, as we were driving to the venue, I remarked to my wife that we are going to a mosque for a carnival, whereas if it was for a prayer session or halaqah we would have been thinking about it! The big attraction, of course, was a Ferris wheel that they would somehow fit into the parking lot.

Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. Unluckily for all involved, the mercury chose today to dip down well below seasonal. As I am typing this today, a day after, it's actually snowing! Snowing, in May! And then a couple of days later it's supposed to be really warm and hot. That's Canadian weather for you.

It was really too bad, as the organizers had put in a lot of effort for the kids, especially getting bouncy rides and castles for the young ones. You can't plan for the weather really, but May is a tricky time for outdoor events anyways. A better time might have been after Ramadan in July, when the worst that can happen is a quick thundershower. Here, the temperature was actually in single digits with the wind chill and only a few brave souls were out enjoying the merry go round and other outdoor rides.

There was also an outdoor petting zoo, and the kids were having fun feeding the animals snacks and touching them. The sheep reminded me of Dolly, the first cloned sheep (or maybe that's how all sheep look - I have no idea).

I had an interesting thought here. In the deserts of Arabia, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers would sometimes hold prayers for rain, because it was so rare, it was always hot, and rain was always welcome. What about here in Canada? Should we pray for heat and not snow / rain? Would that be OK?

Of course, since it was too cold outside in the parking lot, we went inside to check out the bazaar (a mandatory part of any Muslim mela).

Now the bazaar was made up of the usual suspects.
  • There was a guy selling cheap toys from China.
  • There were the usual hijab vendors.
  • Some people were selling mango shakes, popcorns and cotton candy.
  • There were some vendors with "Eid dresses" and other ethnic wear.
  • Some vendors were selling desi food such as samosas and biryani.
  • Few sponsor booths such as Mina Halal giving out free hot dog samples and coupons. You take a lot of these coupons until you realize they expire in a month!
  • Finally there were some (few) unique booths selling a little upscale stuff (such as Kaamilah Boutique).
Overall it was a nice little fair, organized well. If the weather had cooperated, it would have been so much more busier and fun.


nadia said...

Too bad it had to be cold! If one can pray for rain, one could definitely pray for warm sunny days :)

mezba said...

Yup... it was unseasonably cold. However in Canada, we have to hold events as planned, rain, shine , snow or hail!