Beginning next Thursday, it’s that time of year again: Ramadan! As the entire world’s Muslim community prepares for this month-long event, this is a good occasion for Hellofood Nigeria to provide you with some fun facts about Ramadan.
1. Many people actually gain weight during Ramadan. As people do not eat anything all day, they feel that they deserve indulging and eat more, less healthy food and later in the night, shortly before sleeping.
2. The most popular breaking-Ramadan food are dates, harvested in Egypt, North Africa and the Arabian Gulf states. The second most popular food has also something to do with dates: it is a fruit juice, jallab, containing dates, carob and rose water which is often served with pine nuts and raisins.
3. The two Muslim groups Sunnis and Shi’ites break their fasting at different times. While Shi’ites wait for the last ray of light to disappear from the sky until they have food again, Sunni Muslims break their fast when the daily maghrib prayer begins. At this time, the sun has vanished, although the sky is still light.
4. Ramadan is a very anticipated TV season. Arabic, and also Turkish studios produce 30-episode miniseries — one for each night of the month — all year round in preparation for Ramadan.
5. The impact of Ramadan on daily life is enormous. Egypt, for example, pushes back the clock for one hour, so that the work day seems shorter and people get through the fasting quicker. Bankers also share, that inflation goes up, as people spend less money during that month.
6. Since 2001, the United States Post Service has issued Ramadan-related stamps. Due to globalisation, Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr are becoming increasingly visible in Europe and the US, and many shops also sell holiday greeting cards.