Unique rituals for Ramadan around the world

Culture 19 Apr 2021 Contributor
Today's Focus
Rituals for Ramadan
Photo : Dreamstime

Every year, almost 1.8 billion Muslims observe Ramadan, the most sacred month of the Islamic Calendar. Around the world, there are different rituals for Ramadan regarding the welcoming and celebration of the month. It is a time for purifying your body and spirit. It is also the time for prayer, reflection, and charity. Ramadan is observed to reconnect with our almighty Allah.

The uniqueness of Ramadan is of no limit. Across the world, Muslims observe this time with joyous celebrations that are unique to their countries too. Ramadan takes place every year on the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. It takes place for almost 30 days. Then after the sighting of the new moon, Ramadan ends. The fast of Ramadan is mandatory for all Muslims around the world. Along with charity and prayer. But there are a few unique rituals that are also observed in various Islamic countries.

How Ramadan is celebrated in a unique style all over the world:

1. Rituals for Ramadan: Cannons fire to initiate Iftar in Lebanon

In various countries of the Middle East, Cannons are fired daily to initiate the Iftar. This tradition is known as midfa al Iftar. About 200 years ago, Ottoman ruler Khos Qadam accidentally started this ritual in Egypt. Now it is prominently observed in Lebanon. The Lebanese crowd does not breakfast before listening to the cannons.

2. Cleansing rituals for Ramadan in Indonesia

In Indonesia, Muslims take part in different cleansing rituals or ghusl before the initiation of Ramadan. In many areas of Central and East Java, Muslims take part in Padusan (Which means to bathe in the Javanese language). The Muslims take a plunge in water bodies to clean themselves.

3. Town Criers initiate Suhoor in Morocco

During Ramadan, Morocco’s neighbourhoods are loitered by the Nafar… he is a town crier who wears the traditional dress called Gandora and a straw hat initiates the dawn and calls for the Suhoor. This tradition dates back to the Seventh Century. At that time a companion of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) used to roam through the town to alert everyone about getting up.

4. Rituals for Ramadan : Drummers announce dawn and Suhoor in Turkey

Since the era of Ottoman Empire, Muslims are woken up during Ramadan to the sound of a drum beating to initiate Suhoor. Even today, more than 2000 drummers still walk the streets of Turkey. They unite the local Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Drummers wear traditional Ottoman costumes including a Fez and a Vest. This costume is designed with traditional motifs. As they beat their drums, which are called Davuls, they largely rely on the generosity of the resident Muslims. The residents also invite them to Suhoor, thus it becomes a happy festival.

5. The colourful lantern festival of Egypt

Every year, the people of Egypt observe Ramadan with colourful lanterns and Fanoush. These lanterns are symbolic of unity and joy throughout this holy month. This ritual has deep spiritual importance. According to local people, the celebrations with lanterns and Fanoush started during the Fatimid dynasty. The famous Caliphate Al-Muʿizz li-Dīn Allah arrived in Cairo on the first day of Ramadan. To provide an illuminated entrance for the Imam, the officials ordered local people to hold candle protected by wooden frames. Thus, the concept of patterned lanterns initiated.

Moreover, the Fanoush is often integrated into the celebration. During the Holy month, kids walk the streets carrying lanterns, singing for gifts and sweets.

6. Seheriwalas rituals for Ramadan in India

The Seheriwalas or Zohridaars of Delhi represents the city’s ancient Mughal heritage. During Ramadan, the Seheriwalas walk the neighbourhood in the early hours of the morning, chanting the name of almighty Allah and our beloved Prophet(PBUH). This serves as a wake-up call for resident Muslims. This practice is still performed in Old Delhi. The main purpose of observing Ramadan is to get closer to Almighty Allah. The rituals may be unique, but at heart, all Muslims feel the same.