Ramadan is the most Holy Month of the year for Muslims around the world. This year, it began on the 12th April 2021. It is a time when Muslims take time out to connect more deeply with their religion, reflect on themselves, help those in need and spend time with their friends and family.
While Muslims across the world have their own traditions within the religion, fasting during Ramadan is a ritual shared by nearly all. Fasting involves not eating food or drinking water between dawn and sunset for the entire month. People wake up before sunrise to have their first meal and break their fast with an evening meal after sunset. The fast teaches discipline, mindfulness, sacrifice and empathy for those less fortunate.
Shakera shares her Ramadan traditions and how she prepares for the month of fasting ahead.
During fasting, energy levels are low and cooking fresh food every day becomes challenging. In preparation, Shakera prepares plenty of food that her family will eat throughout the month. Her favourites include samosas and spring rolls which are easy to freeze and cook for meals.
Shakera typically has her evening meal around 8pm after sunset, but first breaks her fast with dates and yoghurt. Not only are dates packed full of nutrients, they also have religious significance as they are one of the most eaten foods by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) especially during Ramadan. She also makes a traditional cold Rose Sharbat drink with rose syrup, fruit and basil seeds that she finds at her local Indian shop. Rose Sharbat helps with dehydration and supplies energy after a day of fasting. She will then eat again around 1-2am before going to bed.
During the month of Ramadan it is important to give back to the community and Shakera does this by giving to charities and donating food locally. Gift giving is also tradition, particularly at the end of Ramadan to celebrate the end of fasting and the festival of Eid. In India this typically means gifting money to friends and family but gifts can be anything from clothes to indulgent treats. In honour of Ramadan we’ve hand-selected a Ramadan gift guide for you to shop that special gift for your loved ones to celebrate the Holy Month.