28 Maj Ramadan in Saudi Arabia
The religion holidays in Saudi Arabia differ from those in Catholic Poland. Muslims do not celebrate Christmas, but they celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. It is a challenging time because of the fasting and the hottest temperatures reaching 42 degrees Celsius.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a holy month during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This year Ramadan is from May 5 to June 4. They allow no food, drink or smoking. Only children and pregnant women are the only exception. Muslims believe that fasting help to bring more spirituality into their lives. It is a time for reflection, forgiveness and charity.
Meals during Ramadan
Ramadan meals contain fresh fruit, vegetables, halal meat, bread, cheese and sweets. During the holy month the Arabic people have two meals: suhoor served before dawn, and iftar served after sunset. Suhoor should give energy for the whole day. It ends before the morning prayer begins. After the sunset the fasting stops, and the second meal (iftar) starts. Traditionally, Muslims eat dates before they start the iftar meal. They can keep on eating and drinking until the next day’s suhoor. Followers of Islam invite their family and friends to have Iftar dinners together. People are preparing special dishes and decorating their homes. Ramadan finishes with a big celebration called Eid.
Business in Ramadan
Ramadan influences the opening times of restaurants, cafes and shopping malls. Businesses are closed during the day and open at dusk. During the day streets and malls look deserted. Muslims often take days off and they sleep during the day. This makes fasting easier. Life starts after dusk. Arabic people go to restaurants with special Ramadan menu. The shopping malls are open until 2:30 am. Many mosques open their doors to people of other religions to share great company and delicious food together. It is a special time. People send each other wishes of peaceful Ramadan: Ramadan Kareem!
Muslims- an adherent of Islam (Muzułmanin)
dawn –the first appearance of daylight in the morning (świt)
dusk – the state of partial darkness between day and night (zmierzch, zmrok)
sunset – the setting or descend of the sun below the horizon in the evening (zachód słońca)
spirituality – the quality of fact of being spiritual (relating o spirit or soul) (duchowość)
forgiveness – act of forgiving (to grant pardon, absolve) (przebaczenie, odpuszczenie)
charity – generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless (dobroczynność)
halal – (of an animal or its meat) slaughtered or prepared in the manner prescribed by Islamic law (ze zwierząt ubitych zgodnie z prawem muzułmańskim)
deserted – without inhabitants (opustoszały, bezludny)
Tekst & foto: Betsi Marczak