On this Wednesday, 10th of July, Ramadan has begun, a sacred time to Muslims and celebrated by all adherents of this religion around the world. In most Islamic countries, like Jordan, the celebration is part of the official calendar.
So, if you intend to visit the country during Ramadan, it is good to come aware of what you will find and how to behave, especially in public places. By the way, do you know what is Ramadan?
In a nutshell, this is the beginning of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is lunar, that’s why Ramadan is not celebrated on the same date every year and can go through all the months of the year.
During these 29 or 30 days Muslims perform a fast restricting the intake of foods and drinks, smoking, and sexual practices from sunrise to sunset, and devote greater proximity of sacred values, more assiduous reading of the Koran, mosque attendance correction, and personal mastery.
Therefore, as a matter of respect, even those who are not Muslim or fasting Ramadan, should behave in a ‘not provocative’ way, let’s say.
It is not interesting to eat, drink or smoke in front of people who are deprived of the same habits. No one can make you fast, but be discreet and try not to eat in public during the day.
Restaurants and coffee shops do not open before the sunset, but in hotels they usually work. By the way, these are the only places where you can find alcohol for sale during Ramadan (at some hotels, not everyone).
According to circular issued by the Ministry of Tourism of Jordan, tourist sites and museums are working in special time during the month of Ramadan, from 9h to 17h. Visitors have an hour to leave the sites after closing time.
Go to the streets during the day and night, observe the different behaviors. The stillness of the day and the busy nightlife and the houses decorated with lights (like in Christmas, for the Christians).
After all, being a true traveler is this: learn to enjoy and absorb every culture and knowledge that a place has to offer.
Ramadan Kareem, folks!