Ramadaan Around the Globe 2021 (1442): Ramadaan and Eid Traditions
Written by Tania (Cookies on A Cloud)
What is the one tradition you look forward to the most during Ramadaan?
Ah there are so many things I love about Ramadan, that it’s quite hard to pick just one! So l will be cheeky and pick 2. The first has to be the sharing and communal nature of the month. Though it has of course been quite difficult (and different) this year and the previous year, one of the joys of Ramadan is the family and community coming together in the mosque and homes to pray and have iftaar, despite all our individual extremely busy lives, and experience that joy and peace together. It’s customary to give iftaar to family and friends, often literally a delivery at the door, and that I feel is such a lovely tradition.
The other thing I love doing in Ramadan is praying together as a family, in Jama’ah. This is something a bit sporadic during the rest of the year – we do it when we can – but in Ramadan we make it a point to do it every day, without fail. Not for all the prayers, of course, as the kids are in school during the day and we have work, but we do Maghrib together, and me and my husband do Isha (when he can’t go the mosque) and Fajr together.
Is this a tradition that you had grown up doing as a kid or is this a new tradition?
The sharing of food is something that I guess most of us have grown up witnessing. I remember my mum preparing platters of food to be handed out to our neighbours, and when I would be staying at my grandmother’s, she would be doing it literally every single day (may Allah swt elevate her ranks). Growing up we would go the mosque and I would love having Iftaar there with other members of the community, help clean up and then stand together in prayer.
Praying as a couple every day in our house is something new, which we have started doing. Me and my husband had started praying Fajr together, which then increased to Isha (especially since going to the mosque for isha/taraweeh has not been an option recently, I thought we need to step up and try do our own jamaah at home) and with the kids being slightly older now we are trying to include them too whenever we can.
What do you typically eat for sehri (suhoor) and iftaar during Ramadaan?
Me and my husband have a very different suhoor routine. He ALWAYS has a bowl of Weetabix, along with some fruit (him and the kids love their Weetabix!). I, on the other hand, am on the other end of the spectrum, and so that’s something I never have! My suhoor is very similar to what I usually have for breakfast, so it’s quite varied. One day I will have yogurt with granola, mixed with my usuals (seeds, berries, etc), another day I will have loaded toast (peanut butter with bananas, or avocado, etc). When it’s warm I have smoothies (which I didn’t this year because it’s been constantly so cold!). I have also had left over Biryani a few times this year which my friend and then my cousin very kindly brought us for iftar, and I have also had left over curry – some questionable choices from my husband’s point of view!
For Iftaar the only thing we typically have every single day is fruit salad. We like it juicy, with a big variety of fruit. Other than that, our Iftaar is different every day, depending on what we have in the house, and what we get the chance to rustle up. Both me and my husband usually prepare Iftaar together, so it’s quite enjoyable to be working together and we come up with different things.
What are some of the Eid traditions that you do in your home?
For Eid, our day usually begins with getting ready (it’s always a dash!), popping dates into our mouth (husband and kids will have a quick bowl of Weetabix!) and going to the mosque as a family. I love reciting the Takbeerat and Talbiyah with my children, and then listening and reciting them at the mosque. I find that so very joyous, heart-warming and uplifting! After Eid prayers, the family gathers together and we have a great big meal which lasts for a few hours. Presents are exchanged all around, and the kids love playing and having fun. I always make several different desserts for Eid, as many as I can, because one can never have too many desserts on Eid!
Is this a tradition you have grown up with or is it something new?
It’s pretty much what I have grown up with. The start of Eid was always dedicated to the mosque. I have loved hearing the Eid Takbeerat and Talbiyah for as long as I can remember. Wearing our new clothes, meeting family, and having a great big feast was always the joy of Eid. I loved having henna for Eid, and my daughter loves it just as much now.
Is there anything else you would like to add that may be relevant to this topic?
Ever since I was little, when Ramadan would start I would think that the very air feels different. Ramadan is the most special month of the year, but what I find amazing is that ‘special’ feel is so very palpable, so very PRESENT. The days are full of barakah and the nights with blessings. It’s a great time to start fresh – whatever our individual years have been, where we may have fallen short or not been able to do or be what we aspire to, Ramadan is a great time to renew our faith, reenergize and throw ourselves into rekindling that connection with our Creator and return to our purpose of life. The amazing thing about our Deen is not an expectation to be perfect or not make any mistakes, rather to strive, to make continuous effort, to keep trying and to keep coming back – and there isn’t a better time for that than Ramadan.
It’s not just the fasting that is amongst the virtues and blessings of this month – though of course that is the salient feature of Ramadan – but also the preparation of iftaar, waking up in the night for sahoor and prayer, giving of charity (in any form), increased recitation of the Quran, extended standing in prayer at night, and ofcourse, Laylatul Qadr – there is no end to the number of ways that this month brings blessings to us.
I pray that all of us have our good deeds accepted, our sins washed away, and our lives flooded with barakah. I hope we remember to take the good habits we pick up during Ramadan forward into our lives, beyond Eid, and that we safely see the blessings of next Ramadan, and many after, inshaAllah.
Jazakallah for sharing your Ramadaan and Eid experience with us. It really is amazing how our families bond together during this beautiful and auspicious month.
Tania has a family travel and food blog. You may view her Instagram page below and get in touch with her.