DEARBORN — Three community organizations are teaming up to bring the first ever Ramadan holiday lights competition, the Ramadan Lights challenge, to Dearborn. The organizer of the renowned Ramadan Suhoor Festival is joining Halal Metropolis and the Michigan Muslim Community Council to bring some holiday cheer despite restrictions on public gatherings and other activities imposed by the state’s “stay home” order. The organizations also want to bring attention to the area’s home decoration practices, which make the city’s Muslim community uniquely visible during the holy month of Ramadan.
The organizations explained the rules of the competition as follows:
“Residents are invited to nominate their own or their neighbor’s houses by sharing the address and a photo of their handiwork (via this form). We will share these images on social media and ask the public to help us to pick the top 10 houses from each district. Then, on May 11, our judges will also pass by the houses and photograph them. We’ll pick the most creative and interesting houses from each district and award them a certificate. We will also recognize their homes at a ceremony during Suhoorfest 2021. And if a group of neighbors gets ambitious and decks out their entire block, we’ll recognize their efforts as well.”
The competition’s organizers say that though Ramadan 2020 may not be as busy or as social as it usually is, this competition will give people more time to focus on the spiritual side of the holiday — on “humility, empathy and compassion.” The Ramadan Lights challenge will augment the work many local organizations are doing during the pandemic to locate and donate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to area hospitals, provide food for hungry families and make sure that lights and water stay on for everyone.
The organizations also plan to use their social media platforms to highlight these important efforts throughout the month.