Ramadan 2022: A look into Iftar traditions from across the world
Read on to get an insight into some of the most fascinating Ramadan traditions from around the world.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is celebrated worldwide by the Muslims. The Holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting and introspection, a time to get together for a meal with family and friends.
Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates and water followed by a light and nutritious meal. Iftar -- the first thing that comes to mind is family or community. When the Adhan is called for Salatul, Maghreb, the world literally stops. Despite the chaos of the day, the call to prayer brings everyone together for the opening of the fast with dates and milk or water.
Curious to know what Ramadan is across different countries and cultures? Around the world, each culture has their own Iftar customs and traditions. Read on to get an insight into some of the most fascinating Ramadan traditions from around the world.
India: Indian Muslims break their fast with free Iftar meals organised by the mosques. Dates and water commence the start of the Iftar meal, which is a sumptuous spread of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. In Hyderabad, people break their fast with Haleem. In states such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, Iftar starts with dates, freshly cut fruits and fruit juice, followed by fried food items such as pakodas and samosas.
Pakistan: Muslims break their fast with a date and some water followed by a selection of samosas or pakoras (a fritter made from chickpea flour, vegetables and spices). The fritters are fried in hot oil and eaten with dips or chutneys. A healthier alternative is a simple fruit chaat (fruit salad garnished with spices).
Saudi Arabia: People follow the tradition of fasting from morning to night. Then they break their fast with dates, Arabic coffee, soup, and fried or baked stuffed pastry. One of the traditional dishes of the Western region is foul and tameez, which is a combination of fava bean stew and tamees bread. In the eastern province, people break their fast with meat and vegetable stew known as saloona.
Egypt: In Egypt, most families break the fast with a dish made from foul medames eaten with brown bread. Beans are healthy and not heavy on the stomach. In most homes the beans are mixed with hot oil, salt and pepper, while some people prefer to cook them with onion and tomatoes. Egyptians also make some special drinks called qamar al deenand arasyi. Made from dry apricots that have been soaked all day, this is a delicious and healthy way to break the daylong fast. Another Ramadan speciality is the crescent shaped bread or khaboos Ramadan.
Iran: In Iran, people have some sweet tea and Tabrizi cheese and walnut sandwiches after the call to prayer. Some special dishes that are a must during Ramadan include sheer berenj and firni made from milk and rice, ash reshteh, a thick vegetable soup and a dish made from rice and lentils called adas pola. They also make a saffron-flavoured halwa.
Morocco: A soup called Harira is served immediately after the fast is broken. Harira is made from lentils and sprinkled with salt and cumin. It is usually served with hard-boiled eggs, dates and figs, traditional honey sweets and other homemade special breads or crepes.