Saudi Arabia and Lighter Side of Ramadan Preparations

September 12, 2007 – Wednesday

Lighter Side of Ramadan preparations
Current mood:
Travel and Places

Ramadan will commence in the Kingdom on 13 September.  There was initially the thought that it was to start on 12 September.  For those of you not familar, the holy month of Ramadan begins with the citing of the moon.  While on a scientific note it is known that new moons can be predicted in advance this procedure is generally followed for Ramadan.  There must be an official citing and then countrywide announcement to this effect that Ramadan has begun.Business will continue as normal in the Kingdom until the official announcement of Ramadan.  At that point hours and routines will change to a Ramadan schedule of shortened hours; many individuals change their routines and to some effect what they will or will not eat; and at the announcement of Ramadan radio stations and most (Saudi) tv stations will also cease the existing program and switch to Ramadan announcements and playing of the Quran.Interestingly although the supermarkets and grocery stores do not close down during Ramadan it is entertaining to observe the hurried, rushed and mad shopping which takes place in the last 12 hours before Ramadan.  Individuals scurry to the grocery stores and buy large quantities of groceries as if no food will be offered at Ramadan official begins.  The insides of the popular grocery stores start to resemble Riyadh’s busiest streets as they become crowded with families shopping en masse with multiple carts.  This is one aspect of Ramadan I have yet to fully understand but the mad dash for shopping appears to be both endemic and part of the Ramadan tradition.The same applies for the last 3 days of Ramadan when individuals prepare for the Eid holidays.  The stores and malls are packed; ATM machines are emptied; banking networks are inoperable.  The stores are jammed, parking spots are scarce and traffic is a nightmare.  But again, this is part of the tradition as individuals prepare for those final special Eid gifts and outfits.However once Ramadan begins, other than the final hour before iftar (the breaking of the fast) the Kingdom becomes much quieter, people more serene and peaceful.And to all those who read this blog and follow Ramadan I wish you a Ramadan Mubarak!

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One Response

  1. […] dates and other specialty foods served traditionally during Ramadan!  This will be a special and exciting time in Saudi on so many fronts.  I’ve written many posts about Ramadan over the years.  In […]

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