Ramadan is very special month, it is the holy month for Muslims, as it is the month profit Mohammed received the message from the sky straight from the archangel Gabriel.
The Muslim Calendar is Lunar as we follow the moon Calendar that is to say that the long months are 30 days, so the difference in days between the Sun Calendar and the Lunar Calendar is almost 11 days after some specific calculations.
So Ramadan does not come in summer or in winter, it just turns all year round…
This year Ramadan is getting closer and closer to the heart of Summer which is very hot in Egypt as you know..
We do not drink any kind of drinks, No food, and no Sex during Ramadan Days, it is from Dawn time, until sunset everyday for at least 29 days if not 30 days.
I am assuming you know what I wrote above about Ramadan…
The great thing is that people in Egypt use this special occasion to gather everywhere and all the time, so tents specially made for Ramadan (huge tents with singers, and folkloric shows) with Breakfast at Sunsets…People could go twice a day to the tent to have a meal, in the sunset for breakfast, or before dawn time to have Souhour which is the only meal with breakfast in Ramadan days that is to say we have two meals a day in Ramadan.
Also, in Ramadan, if you are in the street like for example stuck in the traffic and the prayer call of sunset started that means you should eat something or at least drink dates drink or tamarind, or any kind of juice, in that case you do not have to worry about it as the streets would be full of people giving you free drinks, many of them until you tell them to stop as you had enough.
And the very special thing is that people can eat for free for one full month of Ramadan if they are poor and have no money to buy food, it is everywhere in Egypt, in the big cities in the country sides, Villages, small cities, big streets, small ones, just everywhere, rich people hire cocks, chiefs, and people to serve the poor, they make again big tents, full of tables and seats, then before sunset they start to prepare huge amount of food for whom??ANY BODY can stop to eat his breakfast poor or not, it is just to make sure all is able to break his fast every day at the sunset time. Also the same is in the mosques, all can go to any mosque to eat the sunset or at least get the dates drink
- Breakfast at sunsets
- Another meal Souhour before dawn time
Dates drink which is brown dry sweet dates, apricot, dry figs, raisins, and coconuts, all mixed together to give you the percentage of sugar your body needs after fasting the day.
So on the sunset we first drink this, and then pray for the sunset prayer which takes about 10 minutes, and then we eat first soup, then FOOD. Religiously Ramadan is the month for everybody to start fixing his manners and behavior, start to make a real good person out of himself…We believe that god takes all the evil spirits away in Ramadan. In Ramadan we make big lanterns and we hang them in the streets to enlighten the whole country and that originally is because of the dawn prayer cz most of the people do the dawn prayer in the mosque in Ramadan. But I can tell you that most of these things just happen in Egypt specially those tents with parties, the lanterns to light the streets, and the kids buy little lanterns specially made for Ramadan (but now made in china)
To tell you about Ramadan I need to write one big book just to let you feel the features of this holy month in one country Egypt.