The holy Month of Ramadan isn’t just about fasting, it’s the month of Forgiveness, sharing and gathering.
Throughout history, Every country created a traditional way to celebrate Ramadan, Traditional food, drinks, decorations and even traditional customs.
Here are the top 5 traditions celebrated around the middle east.
The Fanous or Fanoos is an Egyptian folk used to decorate streets and homes in the month of Ramadan,Every child will carry a colorful fanous while excitedly singing and roaming the streets during the holy month.
It is said that the origins of the fanous was by the Egyptians, When they were ordered by the military to carry candles at that time, which they put in wooden frames to light up the dark as they greeted the caliph Al-Muizz li-Din Allah on the first day of Ramadan in Cairo.
One of the most common traditions in Ramadan is the mesaharaty.
The mesaharaty is a man who wanders the streets to wake people up for Suhoor, (the meal before dawn in Ramadan), he often calls out the names of the people while beating a drum.
This tradition goes back when a companion of the Prophet Mohamed would roam the streets at dawn singing melodious prayers. The sounds of these prayers swept through the streets, spreading an air of tranquility and gratitude as believers woke up from their slumber to prepare
for the fast
In the gold area, Gargee’an celebrations start on the night of 15 Ramadan,
Gargee’an is a religious tradition that is a little like the US Halloween tradition of trick or treat. It is part and parcel of Emirati culture and identity, and it helps to raise awareness about the holy month.
Other Gulf countries also celebrate this tradition when children put on bright clothes, collect candy and nuts in their tote bags, and sing jubilant Ramadan songs while wandering their neighborhoods. One of the songs is Aatona Allah Yutikom, Bait Makkah Yudikum (Give to us so that Allah will reward you and help you to visit His House in Mecca).
In many Arab countries, cannons are fired at sunset during the holy month to announce Iftar.
This tradition started in Egypt centuries ago during the rule of the Ottoman ruler Khosh Qadam, Until now Lebanon still uses the old tradition of Midfaa Al-Iftar to announce the end of the fast. The older generations of Lebanese say the tradition makes them nostalgic for their childhood.
After Iftar, a large number of Iraqis meet up to play mheibes (rings).
This traditional, male-dominated Ramadan game requires two teams ranging from 40 to 250 players. At the beginning of the game, the leader carrying the ring should hand it to another player without drawing others’ attention. The opposing team has to decide where the ring is by deciphering body language.
It’s Fascinating how each country has its own way of celebrating Ramadan.
Let us know if your country celebrates Ramadan differently!