Ramadan In Maldives
Maldives Promotion House – Maldives is a country where the local lifestyle embeds within the society certain elements of our native religion, Islam. With this, comes certain moral values and celebrations, which may seem to a tourist uncommon. However most of these celebrations and holidays are part of the long cherished beliefs and holds a very important place within the community.
One of the most significant of all is the fast approaching holy month of Ramadan. It is a month of fasting in which all locals participate. It is also a month of sharing happiness and caring. Ramadan comes with special preparations, such as redecoration of homes and restocking of food items.
Before the invention of the modern living brought to us by convenient appliances and house ware, every household was decorated with the local ornamental products of the palm trees and were decorated by spreading white sand across the courtyards. And the local market fills with food items such as fruits and vegetables from all over Maldives. The most common is the watermelon.
Despite the loss of certain cultural touches in the capital city Malé, Ramadan still comes with a certain spiritual hope. It touches the hearts of every Maldivian, and unites them in brotherhood. Long held rivalries are forgotten and most of the days are spend on entertainment. Work hours are shortened and from sunrise to sunset eating and drinking in public places, including the roads, are strictly prohibited. Thus tourists visiting local areas should observe these regulations.
However tourists and expatriate non-Muslims may still enjoy food in designated hotels and inside their homes. Moreover tourists in resorts will not be affected by these traditions and can continue their holidays as usual.
Ramadan, locally known as “Roadha Mas” begins with seeing of the new moon and the ends with seeing of the next new moon. The period lasts for 30 days. The occurrence of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar and hence the date of its occurrence varies each year.
While daily prayer sessions are held five times every day, in Ramadan you are more likely to see mosques packed full for all the five prayers. During evenings Almost everyone goes out for walks or rides to relax and enjoy the sunset.
The day ends with the sunset, when the streets will become isolated. The entire capital settles down, and for sometime the streets may seem dead in a ghastly way. Quiet, peaceful, and calm.