Unique Traditions Of Ramadan Across The World
Assalamualaikum Ramzan is not only about fasting and enjoying meals at dusk, but is also the time to eliminate negative habits and give a fresh beginning to life. That’s the power of religion.
The holy month of Ramadan arrives with positivity in the air. Without a doubt, the ninth month of Islamic calendar is the best time for a Muslim. These pious 29-30 days symbolise the zenith of spirituality in Islam. People spend their time in worshipping, fasting in the name of Allah, offering charity to the needful, following religious traditions, and trying to become an even better person with every passing day.
Do you know why the ninth month of lunar calendar is observed as Ramadan? Well, it is because Allah revealed the holy book of Islam ‘Quran’ during this period to Prophet Muhammad. That’s something you didn’t know, right? No worries, we shall be enlightening you with interesting facts all through this blog.
We’ve given you experiences of many culinary trips and we know you’ve enjoyed all of them. Now, we have something special for you. A cultural trip.
Practitioners of Islam form the world’s second-largest religious group in the world – spreading from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Kuwait to India, and Indonesia to Egypt. We’ve found unique traditions being followed, respected, and celebrated from one corner to another during Ramadan. And we wish to share them with you.
Are you ready to explore some colourful and enthralling Ramadan traditions from around the globe? Then hop onto our discovery train.
1. Egypt – Fanous
In Arabic, lantern is called fanous, which means light. It also signifies hope. These lanterns are made of either metal or glass and beautified with colours and calligraphy. They hold a special spot in everybody’s life. As significant is Christmas tree for Christmas, it is lanterns for Ramzan in Egypt. According to legends, in the year 969, Egyptians welcomed the arrival of Caliph Moezz Eddin Allah to Cairo with hundreds of colourful, pretty, and beautiful lanterns. And since then, every house in the country lights a new lantern to welcome the holy Islamic month and show their commitment towards the age-old tradition. You can adopt this sparkling tradition too.
Try it and light up your house.
2. Turkey – Ramazan Davulcusu
Let’s go to Turkey now! Here Muslims are woken up in a traditional way with the sounds of drums. This ritual was started in the era of ancient Ottomans. Early in the mornings, drummers dressed in Ottoman attire would walk into the streets drumming and chanting poetry to wake up the residents for suhoor. It is heartening to know that present generations are keeping the tradition alive. When drummers take their davul (drums) and move from house to house, they are given bahşiş (tip) as a way of saying thank you for their selfless service.
3. Indonesia – Padusan
Even more interesting is when you find a similarity between two different religions. Like how Hindus take their holy dip in the Ganges, it is Padusan in Indonesia. It is the tradition of purifying soul that is observed by Javanese people before beginning their fasting period. People go to natural springs, sea, or rivers by taking food on their head. After the holy bath, they offer prayers, and sit together on a large carpet to eat that food.
4. India – Iftar parties
After fasting the entire day, when the siren goes off from the mosque, people relish their favourite delicacies such as samosas, chaat, pakoras, biryani, haleem, and dahi vada. In India, Iftar parties, also called as Iftar picnics, are hosted by Muslim friends and families. And they invite their near and dear ones, irrespective of the community the other person belongs to. This gesture symbolises brotherhood among different religions of the country. It is really nice to see people laying big carpets or dastarkhan, spreading out yummy delicacies, and enjoying a lavish Iftar.
5. Kuwait – Gerga’aan
Gerga’aan is a celebration performed by children during the month of Ramzan. It’s a concept a little similar to that of Halloween in the United States. During this three-day merriment in Kuwait, all the kids are dressed up in traditional attires – they knock on every door in their locality, sing songs for the neighbours and relatives, and collect chocolates and sweets in return. Boys and girls have different songs to sing. Some believe that the word gerga’aan means ‘clatter’, while others think it refers to ‘blessings’. Irrespective of the theory, this celebration is absolutely charming. We’re sure you’ll love to see the overdose of cuteness at your doorsteps too.
6. UAE – Midfa Al iftar
Boom! Yes, this is a unique tradition followed in UAE – the cannon fire during sunset signalling people to break their fast. The story goes back to the 15th century when the Sultan of Egypt happened to test a canon. It was during sunset on the first day of Ramadan. Everyone took it as a thoughtful way of the king to let them know that it was time to break the fast. And so, the tradition started and continues till date. Although there are apps and smartphones nowadays to know the right time, people still like the old tradition of cannon fire.
7. Iraq – Mheibes
This is a traditional game played in the month of Ramadan. It is usually played by men across the country. Mheibes is a ring that’s hidden amongst the players of one team and the other team has to make right guesses about its whereabouts. The Iraqis are always excited about this game and spend most of the time of the holy month in their courtyards playing with their friends. We’ve heard people celebrating Ramzan with delicacies, prayers, lighting, singing, and dancing – but knowing that gaming is also a tradition, is something we never imagined. We are sure it’s as much fun as it sounds.
With this, we wrap up our unique Ramadan traditions trip for you. We hope you enjoyed knowing how people celebrate the pious month all over the world. So, which ritual did you like the most? And, are there any traditions we missed in the list? Share interesting facts with us and let everyone know about the wonderful rituals of Ramzan.
Now that the month is coming to an end, we know you are all geared up for the final celebration. Eid Mubarak everyone.
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