The fasting and thirsting and lack of sex during daylight hours is finished! Naam (yes) folks, Ramadan is finished today throughout most of the Muslim world. The month of fasting of all food & water, and refraining from (all – MB presumes!) sexual activities from sunrise to sunset is no more. A few unlucky locations have not seen the new moon so must wait one more day. But in UAE and most of the Muslim world, the lunar month of Ramadan finishes today and the month of Shawwal starts tomorrow. Shawwal will start, as it does every year, with the feast of ‘Eid Al Fitr’.
Lunar Sighting Committees (MB kids you not) look for the Shawwal moon on this evening and confirm whether or not the moon is visibly. The public await the news with bated breath. The moon-sighting announcement is made by the senior Muslim cleric of each country called the ‘Grand Mufti’. If moon not visible, Muslims must enjoy one more day of fasting before they can begin the Eid festival. If sighted, then the festivities can commence with gusto!
‘Eid Al Fitr’ translates as the ‘Celebration’ or ‘Feast’ (Eid) of the ‘Breaking of the Fast’ following the four weeks of Ramadan. Well you would, wouldn’t you?! All that fasting and abstinence for four weeks entitles an man or woman to go a little mad at the end of it all.
The shopping malls have been deserted during the month as Muslims spend evenings at home for the ‘Iftar’ meal with family and friends. The working day for the entire month is reduced by law to approx 5 hours so most businesses close circa 2pm. Many shops, car sellers, and others offer traditional Ramadan sales trying to entice buyers, knowing full well that little business is traditionally done at this time. Just think about it for a moment. Would you really like driving around in the Summer 40+ C temperatures going from showroom to showroom as your hungry and thirsty body wilts under the strains. Whilst thinking about the sex you can not have. La (no) Siree, you would not.
So tomorrow the Muslims will go a little crazy. The shopping malls will be full to the brim. Noise levels will be ear-splittingly loud as the craziness takes hold. Funny thing is that the majority of Muslims actually gain weight during Ramadan and lose it again as the body metabolism returns to the more normal eating habits for the other months of the year. Ramadan can often feature over eating and food gorging as the starving faithful over-indulge on the big Iftar (breaking of the fast) evening meals. Hospital A&E wards can come under pressure as over-eaters need pumping out.
What makes Ramadan even tougher for many is that it takes place in the high Summer temps. MB is on bit of an exercise regime at the moment which involves a nightly walk or run. Last night the temps were hovering around the 40C mark. Reached 45C earlier today. Tonight, as MB types at 11.30pm, it’s 35C outside. No joke!
So in conclusion – a big Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid) to all.
Pics – MB will give you all a few pics from his recent trip back home. MB’s Photo Challenge post of last weekend featured a shot from day-trip to Ballybunnion beach in County Kerry in Ireland’s South West. The following are a few more pics from that day. When it was a beautiful Irish Summer day, and temps were not 40C or anything like!