For most people, the joy of traveling simply comes from understanding and experiencing an unknown culture. No trip is ever completed without tasting local cuisine, wandering through busy market areas and sharing a drink amidst the local crowd.
However, it will be very disappointing to arrive at your travel destination only to find out that everything in the area is shut down and the streets are nearly deserted. This happens a lot when you travel in Muslim areas, especially during the Ramadan festival.
The festival of Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar year. It is celebrated with a belief that it strengthens your relationship with Allah. For those who religiously follow Ramadan, refrain themselves from smoking, drinking, any physical pleasure, and eating and drinking during daylight hours. Some even choose not to swallow their saliva.
In some situation, it is mandatory for the public to follow the fast (even if you are a non-Muslim). This, however, varies from region to region. As a matter of fact, it is the most spiritual month for all Muslims – mainly because Ramadan is said to purify the soul and bring families and friends together.
A Little More About Ramadan – Know-It-All Before You Travel
Every day during the month of Ramadan, the fast ends with iftar – which is the first meal consumed after the nightfall. This meal and the further celebration often continues throughout the night. Ramadan ends with Eid-al-Fitr – a celebratory feast for breaking the fast. It is a three-day holiday wherein people exchange gifts, visit their families and have huge meals.
In many Muslim areas, overseas travelers are required to abide by the Ramadan customs when in public. As a matter of fact, there isn’t much difference between different conservative communities and countries across the globe. All they ask travelers to do is to abide by certain rules in public places during the holy month.
However, in less strict Muslim areas and countries with multiple religions, you might not be expected to abstain but be discreet.
During Ramadan, due to a combination of low blood sugar and tiredness, government offices and private businesses come to a standstill during the day. It is however noteworthy that most places will have late opening hours too.
While most people avoid traveling during Ramadan, we still believe that it is one of the most enlightening time to visit places with Muslim heritage. It will give you a unique and deep insight into the country’s faith and culture.
Even though the streets would be quiet during the day, but with evening markets and iftar feasts, you are bound to enjoy the nights. Experience community spirit and sensational compensation by visiting Muslim heritage places during the festival of Ramadan.
Travel During Ramadan – Do you have travel insurance?
No matter where you are traveling, it is essential to take out travel insurance beforehand. There are many insurers and travel agencies who offer foreign insurance plan during overseas travel.
Are you confused about which travel insurance plan you should buy?
Well, don’t worry! There are websites that help you compare different travelers insurance policies. So, compare and choose the one that gives you maximum coverage and has a minimum premium amount.
Don’t just travel this Ramadan, but travel safe!