TRAVEL TO MOROCCO DURING THE RAMADAN
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar, a holy month characterized by being a month dedicated to pray, introspection and daily fasting that symbolizes the mortification of the body and a closer bond with Allah.
Fasting is not the only important thing during Ramadan, since it is accompanied by personal discipline, helping others, having good thoughts, etc., in short being a good Muslim and a good person.
Its duration is a full lunar month and its start date changes every year, anticipating 11 days with respect to the previous year, since it begins with the appearance of the moon of the eighth month of the Muslim calendar.
This year 2018 Ramadan begins on May 15 and ends on June 14.
The last day of Ramadan, called Aid el Fitr, celebrates the end of the fast party and a handout is given to a person in need of gratitude to Allah for having successfully fasted.
The fast is carried out from dawn until sunset and of course there are people who are exempt from fulfilling it as sick, children, frail elderly, travelers, pregnant women, during the puerperium and breastfeeding if the child may be at risk.
Rupture of fasting
At dusk, with the sunset and a general warning from the mosques, the cities boil over and life intensifies. The bakeries open, the streets are filled with people and vehicles and then disappear from the streets as they retire to their homes to eat as a family.
During a period of 1 or 2 hours the city is empty, without cars or pedestrians and we will only see in the street the passers-by who break the fast in the cafeterias, and the employees of the stores that do it in their establishments.
After this period of time the city once again boils, is full of people who take advantage of the night to walk or eat something in the cafes and restaurants.
Advices for the traveler
There is no problem visiting Morocco at this time, but the rhythm of the Muslim countries changes during this month and it must be taken into account.
We can buy food and drinks in stores, but we will not find many cafes and restaurants open for breakfast or lunch time, only those that are exclusive for tourists.
It is not recomended to eat in public during fasting hours out of respect for the population.
Avoid also smoking in public to avoid temptation as Muslims during this month try to lead a healthy life.
Access to alcoholic drinks is much more restricted and they are prohibited in some places.
It is recommended to avoid using the car at dusk, as all Muslims are in a hurry to get home and the "orderly chaos" of the traffic reaches its peak.
If you have the opportunity to share with a family the first meal after breaking the fast (ftour Ramadan), do not let it escape and enjoy it.
In order to shorten the working days during this month, it is back to winter time (GTM-1) instead of the usual for the rest of the year (GTM + 0), so the time difference with Spain during this month is 2 hours.
Typical dishes of Ramadan
In this period of time we will have the opportunity to taste exquisite dishes that are cooked for this occasion.
In addition to the dates, typical foods of this time are the harira, boiled eggs, beghrir, Berber pizza, noodles and rice, stews of chicken with raisins, toasted sesame and almonds fried and baked fish all accompanied by milk and of course the mint.
Some of the most common options to break the fast are:
- The Harira: Traditional Moroccan soup, very nutritious, prepared with meat, vegetables and tomatoes and garnished with cilantro, parsley, ginger and pepper to intensify its flavor..
- The chebakia: Sweet Moroccan made with strips of honey paste covered with sesame and anise seeds inside and mixed with almonds, vinegar, cinnamon, saffron and orange blossom water.
- Beghrir: Moroccan crepe, very usual also in the usual breakfasts. It is served hot with honey, butter, olive oil or argan, to which you can add a paste of almonds.
- Sfijas: they are a breaded type stuffed with crunchy minced meat and with a very particular flavor that is achieved thanks to the pepper and the lemon juice.
- Gatayef: it is one of the most typical desserts in the Ramadana. It is a slightly similar mass to the pancakes, stuffed with nuts, cinnamon, sugar, cheese and all kinds of delicious products. Once fried, bathe in a syrup perfumed with rose water to give it more flavor.