6 Essential Tips For Traveling During Ramadan

Ramadan is the month in which Muslims believe God first spoke to the Prophet Muhammad, the community won its first battle, and Muhammad triumphantly returned to Mecca in 630 CE.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and do ardent worship at night. As a result, several Muslim-majority countries have adjusted their societal norms accordingly. So, how is it like to travel to these areas during Ramadan, and should we go during this month? HowAfrica presents the answers to the top questions on travelers’ minds.

1. Ramadan Start Date

Every year, Ramadan falls on a different date in the Gregorian calendar. This is because the Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle, and the start date is only confirmed the night before when the new moon is spotted. Even Nevertheless, regional disparities imply that Muslims frequently begin and end Ramadan on slightly different days. For example, while many Sunni Muslim countries will follow Saudi Arabia’s declaration, some will make their own internal sighting, so check locally if you’re attempting to avoid or seek out the month.

2. Eating in public places

This all depends on the type of Muslim area you’re visiting. Yes, this is acceptable in a Muslim country with a religiously mixed citizenry, such as Sarajevo in Bosnia, or in a place that hosts non-Muslim tourists all year, such as Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. However, when visiting Muslim-majority villages that are not mixed or inexperienced with tourism, it is preferable to dine and drink behind closed doors during the daytime.

3. Alcohol

Where the population is diverse or used to serving non-Muslim tourists, the bars will most likely remain open and operating normally. It is doubtful that you will be able to find alcohol in locations where the community is predominantly Muslim or unfamiliar with visitors, such as the Muslim-majority state of Pattani in southern Thailand, and if you can, it is best to drink it behind closed doors, as with dining in public.

4. About fasting

While fasting is required for all able adult Muslims, those who are sick, pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating, or traveling are exempt from fasting. Even these Muslims will be polite in situations where everyone appears to be fasting, refraining from eating or drinking outside during daylight hours.

5. Clothes

No, you should dress as you would anticipate to see in your destination based on your research, as there are no specific modifications to how Muslims dress during Ramadan. Some may prefer to dress more conservatively due to the holy mindset they would adopt during the month.

6. Tourist Attractions

During Ramadan, most companies in Muslim-majority towns and cities will change their working hours significantly. However, the degree to which this applies will vary depending on the type of Muslim area you are visiting. For example, in Muslim-majority Tunisia, places like Kairouan, a very holy city not on the famous tourist circuit, will appear sleepier and slower during the day, with most local shops opening and shutting much later than usual (if ever). Meanwhile, nearly little may change for visitors to Tunisia’s tourism destination of Sidi Bou Said during Ramadan.

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