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Unique Traditions from All Around the World to Welcome Ramadan

Mar 12, 2024
4 Minutes

Fasting isn’t the only tradition closely related to Ramadan; the victorious month also comes with cultural practices and celebrations. Each country has its own Eid-al-Fitr celebration, so let’s learn more about Ramadan traditions here!

Turkey is one of the most famous Muslim countries in the world. Thanks to the cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish culture is rife with Muslim elements. It’s no surprise that the country has practiced so many unique Ramadan traditions up to the present, one of them being how they wake people up for suhoor.

Several drummers wearing traditional Ottoman attire, including a vest adorned with cultural motifs, will march along the road before dawn. Afterward, they’ll bang the drums to wake people up for their suhoor meals. This tradition is one of the Ottoman Empire’s most famed practices, as back then, the people didn’t have any alarm clocks to wake them up.

In Pakistan, you’ll find a routine celebration only commemorated by women to welcome Eid-al Fitr, and that’s the Chaand Raat. As soon as they see a crescent moon in the sky, signifying the end of the fasting month, they’ll immediately start the Chaand Raat tradition by visiting the local market. There, they’ll buy a bunch of colorful bracelets and paint their hands and feet with Henna. 
Aside from the Pakistani women, storeowners take advantage of this festivity by decorating their shop and opening it until dawn. Some women also set up a Henna pop-up store near the jewelry shop to attract visitors.

Although most Indian citizens are Hindu, their Muslim citizens have a unique tradition of celebrating Ramadan. This tradition inherited from the Mughal city culture is the Seheriwalas, also known as Zohridaars, Delhi. 
During the holy month of Ramadan, Indian Muslims will walk around the town at around 2.30 A.M. and shout the name of their God and Prophet along the way. They also carry a stick to knock on the other citizens’ doors and wake any asleep Muslims in time for suhoor. The Seheriwalas is a generational tradition, but fewer people, except those living in Old Delhi, practice it now.

Numerous unique Ramadan traditions exist in Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon. There, people will launch a cannon every day during the holy Ramadan month to signify the start of fasting time. How did this tradition come to be?

The cannon shooting practice, also known as Madfa al iftar, has its roots 200 years ago when the Ottoman ruler Khosh Qadam occupied Egypt. At that time, Qadam accidentally blasted a cannon while testing it during sunset. Its noise echoed throughout Kairo, and the people thought it was a new way to mark the end of fasting times. Since then, the tradition has spread to many Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon.

The Egyptians welcome Ramadan by lighting colorful lanterns to symbolize their wish for unity and happiness during the holy month. However, it’s more of a cultural tradition than a religious one. This tradition started during the Fatimid Dynasty when the people of Egypt welcomed the arrival of Caliphate Al-Muʿizz li-Dīn Allah.

As he arrived in Cairo on the first day of Eid-al Fitr, the Egyptians received orders to hold a candle and light up the dark alleyways. They also protected the flames with a wooden frame to prevent it from exploding. As time passed, they replaced the wooden frame with a patterned lantern, and the tradition has remained that way in the whole country whenever Ramadan is around the corner.

The holy month of Ramadan has close ties with unique traditions worldwide, but an increase in daily necessities follows closely behind it. In Indonesia, it’s common to see grocery prices increasing sharply during Ramadan, forcing families to tighten their belts. At the same time, they have to allocate money for charities, new clothes, and homecoming trips.

With that in mind, managing your finances smartly during Ramadan becomes more prevalent. However, you don’t need to worry because PermataKTA is here to help you realize all your plans for the Eid-al Fitr celebration!

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