Morocco – With long, hot afternoons spent awaiting nighttime festivities, and the rhythm of the day ceremoniously thrown upside down, it is unmistakably Ramadan.
The Muslim holy month, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, moves 11 days earlier each year due to the disparity between lunar and Gregorian calendars, causing it to shift throughout the year as decades pass. This year, the holy month straddled the months of May and July.
During Ramadan, Muslims must observe “sawm”, which entails fasting from dawn until dusk, abstaining from food, liquids, smoking or engaging in sexual relations. It is a time for prayer, reflection, atonement and charity – when rewards for good deeds are multiplied.
In Morocco, the true spirit of Ramadan could not be clearer.
On a sweltering day in Marrakech, Rahma, an engineering student, said appreciation is at the heart of Ramadan.
“God asks us to fast so we can feel the importance of what we take for granted, to feel the hunger of the poor and encourage us to live with gratitude and empathy.”
From the taxi drivers who shared iftar from the boot of their car, to the Amazigh Bedouins who prepared mint tea on an open fire, one enjoys the hospitality that epitomises Ramadan, and which is fundamental to Islam, all 13 months of the year.