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*** RAMADAN.....It's Almost Here! ***
Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:15 amForum Host
Well it's that time of year again & Ramadan is almost here! Many Muslims are frantically preparing for the most special month of the year.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar (also known as the Hijra) and begins with the sighting of the new moon.
At the beginning of Ramadan, it is appropriate to wish Muslims "Ramadan Mubarak" which means "Blessed Ramadan."
Once Ramadan commences, all physically mature and healthy Muslims are obliged to abstain from all food, drink, chewing gum, tobacco products etc. from just before dawn until sunset.
In addition to this, we are expected to refrain from gossiping, cursing / swearing etc as well as all other bad behaviour. It is also important that Muslims try to to read the entire Qur'an during Ramadan ~ in fact, it's 114 chapters have been divided into 30 equal parts for this purpose.
When Ramadan ends, Muslims give charity (in a locally prescribed amount) which has been calculated to feed one poor person in that region for one day. This is known as fitra, and is meant as another reminder of the suffering endured by many. Many Muslims also take this occasion to pay the annual alms which are due to the poor and needy, known as Zakah (which is 2.5% of a persons total assets).
At its conclusion, you may say "Eid Mubarak".
Food during Ramadan
Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world & accounts for an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims (approx 15-25% of the world population) therefore the foods eaten vary from country to country, however, there are many common dishes eaten.
Usually the fast will be broken by consuming dates & either milk or water. The dates will most commonly be followed by
a soup, fresh breads, salad & often fried foods such as samosas / sambusak, bourek / stuffed phyllo rolls etc. A main meal comprising of a richer, more substantial dish may also be eaten. The meal after fasting is known as Iftar.
Just before starting the daily fast, breakfast (known as Suhoor during Ramadan) will be served and can consist of almost anything. Many people will eat the previous days leftovers, others will favour a more typical breakfast of pancakes, bread & jam or pastries washed down with a large cup of tea or coffee.
Despite the fact that Ramadan is a month of fasting, there is a huge amount of cooking going on behind the scenes. It is commonplace to invite friends & family to break fast with you & a large selection of foods will usually be served.
Fresh bread is often baked daily in each home and will generally reflect that family's roots. In our house for example, I will bake the traditional Algerian bread known as Khobz 'Dar which is a soft, spongey bread made with a mix of semolina & white flour.
Ramadan Mubarak to all!
If you are interested in trying out some new recipes over the coming month, why not join us playing Ramadan Tag?
The Sign Up will begin later today & everyone is welcome!
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