Saturday, 18 August 2012

Eid Mubarek!

With the Celebration of Eid al Fitr upon us (and with all UK Muslims unusually celebrating it on the same day) BFTF thought it might be worth posting a little note about Ramadan, for the non-Muslim audience, on the effect that the change of the dates of Ramadan from year to year has...

The month of Ramadan moves backwards approximately 10 days every year, which has the effect of subtly changing its character with each passing year.

Only a few years ago, Ramadan was in the autumn, and memories of it are associated in my mind with falling leaves, windy weather and a rush to get home in time for Iftar (the breaking of the fast at sunset).

This year, Ramadan sits very much in the middle of summer and the longer days mean that there is no problem in getting home from work in time - but on the other hand, the night prayers end at midnight.

Talking to friends and family suggests that many people have simply stayed up all night until the morning prayer at 3-4am and then had a quick lie-in before getting up for their working day. Certainly Twitter has been alive all night every night during the month!

For people above a certain age, this is the second, or perhaps even third time that they have experienced Ramadan at this time of year, and such people enjoy the right to berate youngster on how “in their day” they would spend all day toiling in the fields / working in the mill / playing football (delete as appropriate) as opposed to the softies of today who are utterly unable to perform the slightest physical exercise during the daylight hours of Ramadan.

And even for relative old timers, there are still new experiences to be had - such as the joy of seeing ones children enthusiastically participating in Ramadan, or of setting up new community initiatives, or of taking advantage of new technology to add an extra dimension to the Ramadan experience.

Or, as in this authors case, the simple discovery that dates and fresh pineapple was a most delicious way to break the fast!

So to all BFTF's readers - EID MUBAREK !!

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