It's Ramadan in the #Islamic World, a celebration quite unfamiliar to us in the West. In a nutshell it is very similar though in concept with our #lent(i.e. lunar astronomical computations determine the beginning and end of the celebration), with the sharp difference that they actually stop eating any food from sunrise to sunset. For Lent, on the contrary, in the modern times we never stop eating, with the exception, on #Easter, where some #christianstemporarily switch to a vegan diet or limit themselves to only fish.
Obviously, children, the ill and the elderly people are waived from the fasting.
So, as it is an astronomical thing, each country appoints a team of scholars to determine the exact time when the sun rises or sets. They go into an astronomical observatory, check out the horizon, make observations, and relay the information back to the population. #mosquesin every neighborhood use their megaphones to spread the word in a very similar fashion to the bells that the Catholic churches toll for #mass.
What people do is to plan ahead. Routine is shifted a few hours earlier than normal in such a way that you have time to eat and get prepared for the really hard next 12 hours of starvation. If possible, some even work during the night shift and sleep over the fasting hours. It's not only the fasting they are trying to dodge out but the bruising heat in countries such as #Pakistan and the #arabicworld.
About two hours before breaking the #fasting, preparations begin. #restaurantsand families start cooking special dishes of the season and people line up to get their tables. TV shows relay the bespoke experts observations for the exact moment to final prayers after which worshipers start enjoying an amazing festival of delicious food and camaraderie.
Restaurants offer special promos for the season and the best places are of course sold out.
In my experience living Ramadan in #Islamabad and #Dubai, in the context of the #gastronomic and #cultural aspects of the celebration, it is like having a #christmasor #Thanksgiving dinner every twilight during thirty consecutive days. Absolutely yummy!
#ramadanMubarak to my #muslimfriends!