By Afshan Zahra
A cultural diversity in the celebrations of Ramadan as a festival is eminent all around the globe in accordance with the historical and cultural differences between Muslim societies. Customs, cuisines, foods, recipes and traditions of the holy month vary from country to country, adding more bloom and color to the festive nature of the month.
Food, Cuisines and Recipes
Sweets have a peculiar place in the Turkish Ramadan menu, especially a traditional dessert of layers of thin cornstarch pastry soaked in rosewater-infused milk called Gullac and different kinds of halwas and other confectionaries.
Dates are a common fruit in the Middle East, and have always been associated with the Ramadan meal. Also popular in the Gulf is a dish called Harissa, prepared with simple grain and and meat. In India and Pakistan, spicy and oily foods like Pakoras and Samosas form an important portion of the Ramadan Cuisine
Customs and Traditions
The beginning of Ramadan is also marked in assorted ways like in Palestine fireworks are set off to celebrate the beginning of the fasting month. In Indonesia, ceremonial musicians walk the streets beating drums and singing devotional songs. In Turkey, the mosques are decorated with mahya lights hidden between the minarets of mosques. In Egypt, traditional lanterns symbolize the beginning of the holy month and cannon shots are fired at iftar time.
With the passage of time and influx of globalization and cultural diffusion, some exclusive Ramadan traditions have dwindled while some are still observed to date.