Hey there! I think it’s time for you to know me a little bit more. My blog today is going to be different because I’ll be introducing you to one part of my culture and religion which is Ramadan!
Muslims all around the world, including myself, celebrate today the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan which is the 9th month of the lunar calendar! It is the month where Muslims fast for 30 days trying to be better on all levels, individually, socially, and spiritually.
Fun Fact about Ramadan: It moves backwards about 11 days each year. For Example last year it started on May 17th but this year it is started on May 6th. That means that it comes different months/ seasons so 10 years ago it came in the Summer in the months of August and July, and now it is in the beginning of May which is the end of spring!
My family and I love Ramadan because it changes our whole routine. It’s very festive and all about family. Moreover, because I live in an all Muslim village the whole vibe of our community changes! Almost everybody is fasting, school hours change, work hours change, decorations are everywhere, and night time becomes our favorite time of the day, it’s where everybody thrives because it’s “eating time” lol!
The moments right before Iftar are the most magical. Everyone is sitting at their table waiting for the call of prayer (Athan Maghrib, the prayer at sunset) to be called so they can know when to start eating!
It is safe to say, that every Muslim country has its own traditions in Ramadan, but overall, there are few things that all Muslims do. Here are they:
1. We fast!
Muslims fast in Ramadan from sunrise (dawn) until sunset. Meaning they cannot drink or eat anything during the hours of fasting. Fasting time changes from one region to another. For example, today we (Palestine) fasted almost 16 hours while Muslims in Norway fasted for 21 hours!
Muslims usually break their fast with dates and water because they are easy to digest.
Moreover, fasting has a spiritual aspect to it. That is encouraging the self to stop doing wrong deeds or reduce it to as little as possible. Many Muslims refrain from using bad language, getting angry, pushing or hitting others etc. Simply, they try to be as good as they can get.
So, as you can see fasting is about self- discipline. It teaches you to be in control of yourself and to have more will power. That’s why some people use it to change their habits. People think it’s a golden opportunity to get rid of a bad habit because if they stick to it for 30 days then they can make a real change in their lives.
2. We try to increase our good deeds!
Muslims try to purify themselves worshiping Allah (God) more often. There is a special prayer for Ramadan called Taraweeh. Muslims gather in mosque every night to pray it. They also recite Quran (the holy book) more often, give money to charity, donate money to different organizations, and offer help to those who need it.
3. We have Suhur!
Suhur is the meal that comes right before starting the fast . Families wake up at dawn to eat in order to fuel their bodies and prepare them for the day. The first meal is usually light that includes fruit, yogurt, nuts, sandwiches and tea . After they have Suhur, they pray Fajer ( the dawn prayer) and go back to sleep until it’s time to wake up an start the day.
4. We have festive meals, like everyday!
Mothers usually try to make the best food there is for Iftar! Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast. That’s the time when the whole family gathers to eat together so it is quite celebratory! Special desserts and special meals are especially made for this month (how many times can I say the word “special” lol!)
We also have many gatherings with extended family members and friends! We invite each other to eat, catch up, and have fun!
5. We visit each other!
After iftar, Muslims usually visit their relatives because this month is about reaching for family and friends. We try to visit those whom we haven’t seen in a while to keep the relationship as close as possible.
FAQ about Ramadan:
Is it hard?
Only during the first 3 days, then your body gets used to it!
Isn’t it harmful not to eat or drink for several hours?
No, it’s not! We compensate at night by drinking liquids and eating our daily need of calories! Fasting has unbelievable benefits for the body and skin.
Nowadays one of the most famous diets is intermittent fasting which is based on the same concept: eating during 8 hours and then fasting the remaining 16.
Do you lose weight when you fast?
Yes, if you eat healthy and clean.
Yet some people find it hard to resist all the sweets and desserts that are served during this month.
Do All Muslims Fast?
Of course no! There are secular Muslims who don’t preserve Ramadan. Moreover, young children, elderly people and those who take medications don’t fast as well.
What comes after Ramadan!?
We have our holiday called Eid Al fitir and it is quite elaborate. People buy new clothes, make more sweets, have barbecues and give money to children! Yes, we do not do gifts we give money lol! Adults give money to young children when they come to congratulate them.
Here are a few pictures of my sisters and I preparing traditional sweets called Mamo’ol!
People also go out to visit family and friends. Parents take their kids to parks to have fun and play. The holiday continues for days which means that we can do lots of fun things!
I hope you enjoyed reading about Ramadan, and if you have a Muslim friend get them to invite you for an in Iftar ! you will not regret it!
I would love to hear about your traditions during holidays!
Tell me in the Comments!
Until next time, be kind to yourself!