Ramadan

Ramadan, the important God’s Party in Iran

Ramadan, the Sawm (fasting), is an important pillar of Islam

During my free walking tour, I always ask my tourists what they know about Islam. The answers shocked me when, most of the time I noticed that they are aware of the 5 pillars of Islam, one of them is Fasting during Ramadan.

Ramadan is the holy month for Muslim people around the world, which is the 9th month of Arabic lunar calendar. It is not just abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, but it is also considered a big spiritual reflection to ourselves to understand what is going on inside and outside of our body. It reminds us what life looks like for people who suffer from less fortune and motivates us to appreciate more of what we have as a blessing. Also, it is the detoxing process for the body and digestion system.

We call this month the month of God’s party because firstly, Muslims believe that in this month, the Quran, our holy book, is inspired by Prophet Mohammed in the night called Ghadr night (literally meaning night of destiny). Secondly, in this month, people reflect on themselves a lot, and the police report also proves the lower rate of criminal commitment in this month.

The fasting ritual starts with eating ‘Sahari’ before sunrise, and we break our fast after sunset with a sip of hot water or tea in our ‘Iftar time.’

If you decide to explore Iran during this time, you will definitely survive and will not be starving during your trip. And you will even be surprised with the variety of special meals that you have this chance to try just at this time of year.

In Islam, being on fast is not obligatory for people who travel, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or during their aunt Flo’s visiting time, for children, and for people suffering from sickness. But all of the mentioned people are expected to respect the people, who are on fast and not to eat, drink and smoke in public places. It does not mean you would be dehydrated since you cannot drink water on hot days in Iran. You can do it after just checking around yourself that nobody is looking at you.

During the time grocery shopping is open, all restaurants in the hotels and your accommodation provide you service for breakfast and lunch, and also bistro shops offer to take away cold sandwiches.

It needs a little bit of consciousness to adjust your traveling time in Iran during this holy month. However, patience pays off. Whoever travels to Iran at this time would experience the nightlife, which cannot be touched in the other 11 months of the year. Most restaurants are open from Iftar time to Sahari time (From sunset to sunrise). One hour before Iftar time, there are some booths where you can buy fresh Ash Reshteh (Iranian soup), Haleem (not good for gluten-intolerant people like me), and also Shole Zard (Saffron pudding rice).

Iranian Ash
Iranian Ash
Sholeh Zard
Sholeh Zard

In confectionery, your eyes will pop out of the huge pile of Zoolbia Bamieh (special sweets for Ramadan) in one corner. It is not good for health, as it is too sweet, but you cannot stop yourself from eating them after you try just one tiny part.

Iftar time (After sunset when you are free to eat & drink) is usually a party time when the family gets together, and they break their fast with tea, cheese, date, and all mentioned meals. Ramadan is a nice food festival, even for foodies who are not even doing fast.

Sometimes, close to Iftar time, someone rings the bell, and you get a bowl of Shole Zard as NAZRI. Nazri (free food) is considered holy for anyone who eats it or makes it; it is given free by individuals and private groups as a way of completing an offering made to Allah. Many love lives started by passing around Nazri food among neighbors and knocking on the doors of houses, and men and women met each other for the first time during the custom of Nazri distribution.

Persian Walk has lots of stories about food customs and even provides you a platform to try different foods in Ramadan in the ‘Once Upon a Time in Tajrish‘ tour. If you are interested in having a bite of different snacks during Iftar time, make a reservation online.

Happy Ramadan

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