Traveling Morocco during the Ramadan (May 15th – June 14th, 2018). No problem! Just learn about it. If you know the do’s and dont’s, you’ll be fine.
What is the Ramadan about?
First, a short introduction to the Islam religion. The Islam is based on five pillars. Engaging in the Ramadan every year is one of them. The other four pillars are: profess your beliefs, join the praying rituals, visit Mekka and share your wealth. By this means, you express your beliefs and make sure you do good as a Muslim person.
To Muslims, Ramadan is a holy month. The Ramadan is a month of reflection. Not eating, and not drinking either, during daytime is only one of the ways to fill in this reflection. Yet, it is the most commonly known way to engage in the Ramadan. For the whole month, people abstain from food, drink, sexual intercourse, and tobacco during daylight.
It’s not only about not doing things during the daytime. It’s about what you do as well. Moreover, it’s generally a spiritual month and also a month to help the poor and needy. Also, this period is used to strengthen the engagement in for example praying. And, to strengthen the bonds within families. When the sun sets it’s time to break the fast, called Ftoor in Moroccan and Iftar in Arabic. Ftoor is a happy, special celebration for families to eat, get-together and visiting the mosque afterward. So, Ramadan is also about spending time with your loved ones, eating and praying together.
The impact on everyday life
You might notice in the streets, for instance, fewer terraces and vendors of food. Normally very present in the streets of cities like Marrakesh. Since the locals don’t consume their goods, they sometimes close the business or postpone till the evening. Also, service everywhere can be down a bit during sunset. Especially in the summer months, the daytime is long. So, when it’s possible, the people will stop their activities for some time for relieving the most of the hunger and thirst.
There also might be less active. During the day, as well as in the evening. For example, fewer people come to the medinas to shop. Since gathering with relatives is important this period, and this mostly takes place in their houses and mosques. After the Ramadan, this is really different. The Eid is celebrated when the Ramadan is completed. This means the people are cheerful, and many take the opportunity for a short holiday. Therefore, coastal cities like Essaouira and Agadir can be crowded.
When takes the Ramadan place?
The Ramadan is always the 9th month of the Muslim Moon calendar. So, in compare to the western calendar, the Ramadan period skips back every year a couple of weeks. And note, the dates are an estimation. The moon cycle is the means to set the exact date. In 2018, the date is estimated: May 15th till June 14th. Are you visiting Morocco then? No worries. We will provide you with some tips how to act.
If you want to blend in during traveling, copying locals are the best way to get there. In large parts of Morocco, especially the cities, you will get away with “western behavior” as well. Nevertheless, it’s always more pleasant to adjust to local standards. During the Ramadan, it’s not necessary to fast yourself. It is polite not to eat and drink in public though during the daytime.
Also, because it’s a time to strengthen beliefs, you can adjust in other ways. For instance, pay extra attention to appropriate clothes. And, consider being patient and polite at all times. Engaging in the Ramadan can be hard, so be mild if, for example, the service is a bit slower than usual.
How does ResiRest provide home dining during Ramadan?
All of the ResiRest hosts in Morocco are Muslim. Therefore, the meals are limited during the Ramadan. Obviously, lunch is not an option these days. Instead, you can join the host family for dinner. Of course, dinner is adjusted to fit the Ramadan. For example, the dinner may start at a different time, and perhaps relatives join in for dinner too. Please note that the dinner can be rather quickly these days because afterward most of the family members go to the mosque. If you are not a Muslim yourself, you cannot join the praying in the mosque.
So, also during the Ramadan: book your meal with a Moroccan family by our free mobile app or web form. Rachid, Jamal, Malika, Ibtissam, and other Moroccan hosts will welcome you with great joy. See you soon!
Written in cooperation with Travel Magical Morocco.