All about Ramadan in Bahrain

All about Ramadan in Bahrain

Ramadan is a very special time for Muslims around the world, as it is a month of fasting, prayer, charity, and spiritual growth. But what is it like to observe Ramadan in Bahrain? How do people celebrate this sacred occasion? And what are some of the best things to do and see during this festive season? Let's find out!

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which means it moves back by about 10 days every year. This year (2023), Ramadan will start on March 23 and end on April 21. Muslims fast from dawn until sunset every day during this month. The purpose of fasting is to purify the body and soul, to increase self-discipline and awareness of God's blessings, and to empathize with those who are less fortunate.

The fast is broken at sunset with a meal called Iftar (literally meaning "breakfast"), which is usually a family affair that involves dates, water or juice, soup, samosa (fried pastry filled with meat or cheese), salad, bread, rice dishes (such as Machboos), meat dishes (such as Saloona), desserts (such as Um Ali or Kunafa), and tea or coffee. After Iftar, people perform the Maghrib prayer (the fourth of five daily prayers) and then relax or socialize with friends and relatives.

Some people also go out for another meal later in the night called Ghabga, which means "gathering". This is a more festive occasion that usually involves music, entertainment, games, and more food. Ghabga can be held at home or at restaurants or hotels that offer special buffets and tents for this purpose. Ghabga is especially popular among young people who like to enjoy the nightlife during Ramadan.

The last meal before dawn is called Suhoor, which means "dinner". This is a light meal that helps people prepare for another day of fasting. It usually consists of yogurt or Laban (a yogurt drink), dates or fruits, cheese or eggs, bread or cereal bars etc. Some people also drink lots of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Ramadan in Bahrain is the atmosphere of peace and tranquility that pervades the whole country. People are calmer and more courteous towards each other; they avoid arguments and conflicts; they help each other out; they give generously to charity; they read more Quran (the holy book) and attend more lectures; they pray more sincerely; they seek forgiveness from God and others; they reflect on their lives; they appreciate what they have; they strive to improve themselves.

Another wonderful thing about Ramadan in Bahrain is the cultural diversity that enriches this holy month. Bahrain is home to many different nationalities who bring their own traditions and customs to celebrate Ramadan. You can find mosques from different sects coexisting peacefully; you can hear different languages spoken on the streets; you can taste different cuisines from different regions at Iftar tables; you can enjoy different forms of art and entertainment at Ghabga venues.

If you are new in Bahrain, here are some of the things to do for truly experiencing the holy month of Ramadan:

Visit Bab Al-Bahrain Souq: This is an old market area that sells everything from spices to electronics. During Ramadan it becomes even more lively with colorful decorations lights lanterns flags banners etc. You can also find many stalls selling traditional sweets such as Halwa Luqaimat Qatayef etc.

Attend cultural events: There are many events organized by various institutions such as Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities Ministry of Information Affairs National Theatre etc that showcase Bahraini heritage arts crafts music poetry theatre etc

Go shopping: There are many discounts offers deals promotions etc available at malls shops online platforms etc during Ramadan especially towards Eid Al-Fitr (the festival that marks the end of Ramadan). You can also find many gift items such as perfumes chocolates clothes jewelry etc

Volunteer: There are many opportunities to volunteer for various causes such as feeding, distributing, packing, delivering food parcels clothes blankets etc for needy families, refugees, workers etc.

Also, here are some dos and don'ts that will help you make the most of this special month!

DO Respect the fasting hours: If you are not fasting, avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours. You can still enjoy your meals at home or in designated areas such as hotels or restaurants that offer delivery or take-away services.

DO Dress modestly: Bahrain is a tolerant and cosmopolitan country, but it is also respectful of its Islamic traditions. During Ramadan, it is advisable to dress conservatively and avoid revealing clothes or excessive accessories. This applies to both men and women.

DO Experience the iftar and suhoor: Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast at sunset, while suhoor is the pre-dawn meal that prepares you for another day of fasting. These meals are usually shared with family and friends, and they are a great opportunity to taste some of the local delicacies such as dates, samosas, harees (wheat porridge), machboos (rice with meat) and qatayef (sweet pancakes). You can also join one of the many iftar buffets or tents that are set up across Bahrain during Ramadan.

DO Visit a mosque: Bahrain has some stunning mosques that are open to visitors of all faiths. You can admire their architecture, learn about their history and witness their spiritual atmosphere. Some of the most famous mosques in Bahrain are Al Fateh Grand Mosque (the largest mosque in Bahrain), Al Khamis Mosque (one of the oldest mosques in Bahrain) and Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa Mosque (a historical landmark).

DO Enjoy the cultural events: Ramadan is not only about fasting and praying; it is also about celebrating life and culture. Bahrain hosts a variety of events during Ramadan such as concerts, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and festivals.

DON'T Be loud or rude: Ramadan is a time of peace and harmony, so avoid any behavior that might disturb or offend others. This includes playing loud music, swearing, arguing or fighting.

DON'T Waste food or water: Ramadan teaches us to be grateful for what we have and to share it with those who are less fortunate. Therefore, try not to waste any food or water during this month; instead donate it to charity or give it away to someone who needs it more than you.

DON'T Drive recklessly: Traffic accidents tend to increase during Ramadan due to fatigue, hunger or impatience among drivers. Therefore, be extra careful when driving; follow the speed limit; wear your seat belt; avoid distractions such as phone calls or texting; keep a safe distance from other vehicles; respect traffic rules; be courteous towards other drivers; watch out for pedestrians; stay alert at all times.

Ramadan Kareem means "generous Ramadan", so don't be shy to join in on this wonderful celebration of faith, culture and community in Bahrain! You will surely have an unforgettable time and make some new friends along the way!

Lastly, we wish you all a blessed month of Ramadan. We hope that this Ramadan brings you peace, joy and prosperity. May Allah accept your fasting, prayers and good deeds, and grant you forgiveness and reward in this life and the hereafter.

Love and Peace,

Focallure Arabia

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