Celebrating Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims. In the U.S., Ramadan started around April 13 and will end around May 12 with Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Breaking Fast. The devout honor the month by fasting during daylight hours and devoting themselves to spiritual rejuvenation through reading the Quran and prayer. While those are traditional activities to commemorate Ramadan, there are more ways to celebrate, too.

Decorate with dates

Dates are the No 1 staple of Ramadan across all Muslim cultures. They are what we eat for energy at dawn before a long day of fasting, as well as what we eat to break our fast at sunset.

Consider having dates front and center during Ramadan by shifting dates out of the cardboard box they came in and into golden or silver decorative bowls for the season. Bowls with glass lids or a cloche dome are best to help keep the dates fresh.

Display the festive bowls in your kitchen or on a sideboard. Take it a step further and create a Ramadan vignette by filling bowls of varying heights with nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, and displaying them as a grouping. (At the end of Ramadan, use the dates and nuts in your Eid cooking—you can have your display and eat it, too!)

Light lanterns

Ramadan’s core traditions take place at nighttime. Once upon a time, before electricity, people used oil lanterns as their source of light to help them carry out Ramadan’s nighttime traditions. Today, you can use battery operated decorative lanterns inside your home—and on your porch—to help give your home a festive Ramadan glow.

 

Share iftar with your neighbor

Food is a wonderful way to bring people together. When preparing iftar (the meal at sunset), make a little extra and share a plate with your neighbor. If you’re not much of a fan of cooking, you can also consider preparing a bakery box or a food hamper with ready-made finds that speak of Ramadan to you. A little accompanying note explaining what Ramadan is or about the food you’re sharing can be a much-appreciated gesture, too.

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