Ramadan in Egypt - Taken by Menna Saad
CAIRO - 4 June 2018: Ramadan is the holy month when Muslims all around the world fast and exercise self-control. Fasting is believed to cleanse the soul, and so it helps people get closer to God. Each country has their own rituals to celebrate Ramadan.
In Saudi-Arabia, pilgrims from all around the world visit Mecca to do the rituals of Umrah which is believed to be spiritually cleansing.
Miswak (Siwak) has a significant use during Ramadan in Saudi-Arabia. Muslims use it as an alternative to tooth-brushes as it has an amazing smell.
For foreigners who wish to visit Saudi Arabia during the holy month, they need to follow some rules; for example, smoking and chewing gum during the day is prohibited. Also, non-Muslims are expected to respect fasting Muslims by not drinking or eating in public.
In Indonesia, Muslims in different regions of the country have different ways to celebrate the holy month; like Meugang (Mameugang) in Aceh which is cooking and eating meat dishes with the whole family.
Another habit that Indonesians in Central Java Tengah and Yogyakarta enjoy is called Padusan which is practiced before the fasting month in the pools of mosques or home-built pools. This tradition symbolizes the act of cleansing the body.
To welcome Ramadan, Indonesians in Kudus also practice Dandangan, a type of drumming with a little bit of onomatopoeia (sizzling sound) to welcome the holy month.
During the last day of Ramadan, women and men practice the Chaand Raat, a tradition in which women wear their prettiest clothes and go to the market to buy the prettiest bangles and shoes. Men on the other hand throw papers at pretty girls with their phone numbers written on them; men aslo dress very nicely wearing their Kurtas.
Families gather on this day where they make a huge feast and enjoy meals like sheer khurma.
During Ramadan, people in Turkey cook very traditional food with Turkish spices like güllaç (Gullash) and Pastirma.
Iftar usually begins with a little bit of olives, dates, Turkish cheese and a selection of flat bread called Pide with warm Turkish coffee. During Suhoor, about 2000 drummers dress up in Ottoman clothes and spread around the city using Davul (A special drumming kit) to wake Turkish Muslims up for Suhoor.
People in the northern province of Iran (Mazandaran) welcome Ramadan by fasting three days before the month begins. They also make sure to practice a tradition called (Khatme Al-An’am) in which they make sure to read Surat Al-An’am before the iftar meal.
In East Azarbaijan on the last Friday of Ramadan, women and girls gather around to sew a bag for their family. They put some money in the bag and keep it closed until next Ramadan. They believe that the bag will protect them from being poor and they call it (A Bag of Blessing).
Also, on the last Friday of Ramadan, southerns of Shiraz go to the mosques to pray (Jomeh –Alwedaii) for their wishes to come true. The prayer is usually attended by girls who want to get married, married couples who can’t have children or pregnant women who wish to bring luck and happiness to their newborns.