Preparing for Ramadan: A Guide to Traditional Meal Rituals

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Ramadan is a meaningful time of year for Moroccans and muslims around the globe. It’s a period of fasting, spiritual contemplation and a time to come together with family and friends.

In Morocco, the preparation for Ramadan begins days before, as families gather to purchase the necessary ingredients to craft traditional dishes such as couscous, tagine and harira soup. These customs serve as a way for families to honor their culture and appreciate the significance of Ramadan.

On the eve of Ramadan, families come together for a meal called Suhur, which is an opportunity to make lasting memories. After a restful night’s sleep, the early morning call to prayer marks the beginning of Ramadan and the Iftar meal brings the family back to the table for feasting, celebration, and contemplation.

Cooking is an act of love and respect, and with each meal during Ramadan, families are brought even closer together.

Preparing for Ramadan:

In Morocco, the few weeks before Ramadan are filled with anticipation and excitement as families come together to prepare for the holy month.

One of the most important traditions is to perform a thorough deep cleaning of their homes with dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing surfaces with a swab dipped in vinegar and water. This ritual is believed to bring positive energy and a festive atmosphere to the household.

Alongside cleaning, 10 days before Ramadan, Moroccans go to the souk (market) and buy different fresh ingredients to make traditional meals. From grandmas to grandchildren, people of all ages gather to make sellou and sweets to create the perfect atmosphere for the season. As Ramadan approaches, Moroccans stock their kitchens with all the ingredients needed to make special recipes and enjoy festive meals in the evenings when they break their fast.

DURING RAMADAN:

Ramadan is a time of celebration and reflection in Morocco. Every year, this holy month brings a unique atmosphere to the country that is full of special meals, activities, and rituals. As the sun sets each evening, the call of the zouwaka (A shot from a canon to announce the sunset) announces the arrival of the time of iftar, and families come together to break their fast.

On the menu are a variety of traditional dishes that have been passed down through generations, from couscous and tajine to sweet dates and milk drinks. Every dish becomes a shared experience for families, as they savor the expansive array of flavorful ingredients. Iftar brings people closer together, creating a sense of connection in both small villages and large cities throughout Morocco. After dinner, many Moroccans take part in collective prayer or head out into the streets to socialize with neighbors.

During Ramadan, women and men who work still continue their activities, while stay-at-home mothers prepare the Iftar feast. Hours tend to be less during the holy month, allowing more time to spend with family and loved ones.

Ramadan is a time for spiritual growth, connection and communal celebration. Not only is it an opportunity to thank God and deepen our love for Him, but it is also a chance to strengthen the bonds between Muslims around the world and within our own families.