MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — U.S. Bank Stadium became a place of worship on Tuesday.
Thousands of Muslim families from across Minnesota filled the stadium in celebration of a religious holiday. The prayer service on the field and the outdoor activities that followed were part of ‘Super Eid,’ marking a day-long event focused on self-reflection and family.
Dressed for a special occasion, family members began filling U.S. Bank Stadium as early as 7 a.m.
“It is the family reunion. People gather all together in one house. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving Day,” said Minneapolis resident Abdi Hayve.
By 9 a.m., the field inside was full.
Men, boys, women and girls were kneeling in prayer by the thousands.
“You feel this power beyond your control,” said Safiah Youssouf, of West St. Paul. “You feel the lightness, you feel the happiness, you feel the brotherhood, the sisterhood, you feel the unity — you feel the togetherness.”
Members of 20 Minnesota mosques gathered at the stadium. Some shared their awareness of not being accepted by everyone.
“As human beings, we should get close to each other, get to know each other, and then be a judge — instead of just judging each other by look,” Youssouf said.
After the first group prayed, a second group was escorted in. Amid the crowd of parents and elders were also the voices of teenagers.
“It is a very happy day,” said 15-year-old Abdirizik Yusuf. “We get to celebrate it with a lot of other people we don’t know, but it feels like a community and happiness.”
“Of course there are going to be people who are fearful of Muslims and our traditions, but I think if they do learn and start reading sources that are credible, they will understand that we are not scary, we are just regular people,” 14-year-old Yusuf Dayur said.
Outside at nearby Commons Park, the celebration continued with a carnival.
There were rides and games for the kids, but memories for the whole family.
Organizers of ‘Super Eid’ say 23,000 people registered for the event.
The carnival wraps up at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.