Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Discover Strange Traditions, Rituals of Ramadan Around World

Wed 13 Mar 2024 | 11:33 AM
Indonesia's Ramadan Celebration
Indonesia's Ramadan Celebration
Ahmed Emam

Islam is a widespread and ancient religion that has blended itself with local aspects in various regions. This has given rise to several traditions that celebrate Ramadan in unique ways in different countries. 

Here 're some of the strangest Ramadan traditions and rituals from around the world below: 

In Morocco, during Ramadan, neighborhoods roam the streets by the Nafar. A city crier, dressed in traditional clothing, walks the streets while blowing a horn to awaken people for Suhoor. This tradition dates back to the seventh century and is met with gratitude and thanks from the community on the last night of Ramadan.

In Chechnya, people visit graves of their relatives and Sufi gatherings are held on the morning of the first day of Ramadan. Children born during the holy month are named “Ramadan” for boys and “Marha” for girls.

In Tajikistan, children roam neighborhoods in groups carrying bags to collect gifts while singing cheerful songs. Muslims break their fast with a tea and milk drink called “Shershay”.

In the Maldives, people go to beaches in the last night of Shaaban to sight the crescent moon with naked eyes. The Iftar meal usually includes seafood and fish during Ramadan.

In Egypt, a popular scene in Ramadan is a lantern called “fanoos”, which symbolizes unity and joy throughout the holy month. Although this tradition is more cultural than religious, it has become strongly associated with Ramadan and has spiritual significance. Children walk in the streets with their fanoos and ask for gifts and sweets.

In Turkey, homes are sprayed with air fresheners of musk and rose water once the Ramadan crescent is sighted.

In Indonesia, schools and universities are given a week's leave until they are used to fasting. The traditional drums, called “Al-Budok”, are danced to in order to celebrate the coming of the month.

In Pakistan, a large celebration is held where all children who fast for the first time gather to encourage them. The young people in Pakistan play egg fighting game during the late Ramadan nights.

In Mauritania, one of the popular traditions during Ramadan is to read the entire Qur’an in one night. Men shave their heads before the month of Ramadan to grow new hair during the holy month. Many young people tend to marry during Ramadan.

In Nigeria, rich families host the poor over Iftar.

In Uganda, people fast for 12 hours as the equator passes through the country. Relatives and neighbors gather every day at one of the houses for a group Iftar. Bananas are essential in the Iftar meal.

In Thailand, Muslim families sacrifice cattle or birds. Neighbors exchange Iftar meals, and women gather in a large yard in front of their houses to eat together.

In Sri Lanka, people decorate their houses once the moon crescent of Ramadan is sighted. The restaurants and coffee shops are closed until Iftar, while others open temporary shops serving food and drinks next to mosques during Ramadan. They are called “Dekak”.

In Bangladesh, buying religious books is one of the most important traditions during Ramadan. A book fair is held at the beginning of the month and continues until the end of Ramadan.

In Tatarstan, Russia, Muslims who are unable to fast can donate RUB 100 for every day they don’t fast.