- On 17-03-2023
Things to know before traveling to Morocco in Ramadan
Morocco in Ramadan gives another kind of vibe, it’s still the same but at the same time a little bit different. To not experience a culture shock while visiting Morocco during this period, let’s dive a little bit into Ramadan and what this month represents for Moroccans, especially Muslims.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is an Islamic Month, a period of the year when all muslims fast, they don’t eat, drink every day from sunrise to sunset. For Muslims this Sacred month is the chance to wash the sins away, to get closer to God, to learn how to be more patient and feel the pain of poor people and understand their feelings. In Moroccan culture, it’s also a chance to do family gatherings and get closer to the big family members and friends too. Those are the main reasons why Ramadan exists.
When the new moon shines brightly in the sky, it marks the end of Ramadan and after a whole month of fasting, a special festival called Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated for two days.
There is no exact date for the beginning of the fasting period, each year is different. In 2023, Ramadan will start at the end of March until the half of April.
Things you should Know about Ramadan in Morocco:
First of all, to answer the most frequently asked questions, it’s totally okay to travel to Morocco in Ramadan, nothing will affect your journey, and Non-Muslim Tourists and Travelers don’t need to fast either.
Drinking, Eating, Smoking is considered offensive:
Muslims fast from dusk till dawn in Ramadan, they abstain from food,drinks, smoking and sexual activities, and breaking the ritual of this holy month is regarded as offensive, and Muslims eating publically during the daytime of Ramadan without a valid excuse will be penalized by the Law.The article of the penal code excludes Non-Muslims of course.
Don’t be surprised or confused if you see some Moroccans eat during the fasting hours of the day, even if it happens rarely, because people with health problems or chronic conditions, take medicines should not fast, and pregnant women, old people who can’t fast, and kids are allowed to eat too, but they still don’t do it in public.
So it would be preferable not to eat in public while others are fasting, you can eat when out of sight, or in the hotel. Even if it’s okay as long as you’re a non-muslim and people in Morocco are used to the presence of tourists, it’s considered a way of showing respect to the others’ culture.
Restaurants and Coffee Shops during the daytime:
Most of the Restaurants and Coffee shops are closed during the fasting hours and open until late in the evening to serve Iftar, you’ll still see people, especially men sitting in coffee shops talking and waiting for the fast breaking time. But there are lots of other restaurants that remain open to serve food to tourists. International food franchises such as McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, and Burger King also serve tourists during Ramadan.
Nightclubs and Liquor stores:
Bars and Nightclubs close in Ramadan, and the serving and consumption of alcohol are legally and strictly banned.
If you like to drink alcohol, it will be better to prepare a stock of alcoholic drinks before the start of Ramadan.
PS. : It’s recommended to avoid wearing revealing clothes in Ramadan, especially during the fasting hours.
Working hours during Ramadan:
Working time changes during the holy month of Ramadan, as the majority of establishments work from 9 in the morning to 3 in the evening, especially public institutions. So if you have some work there, make sure to know the exact working hours.
If you want to buy something or do some shopping, make sure it’s either before Iftar time or at least 2 hours after, as grocery shops and other shops close to eat and break their fasting.
Is Morocco worth visiting during Ramadan?
It’s absolutely worth living the unique experience, there is no reason to miss out the chance to better understand the cultural and even the religious aspects of life in other countries' lifestyles during those special occasions. There is even a chance to be invited to Iftar or eat it even in restaurants and taste the delicious different dishes especially those that are made only during Ramadan, and you’ll certainly be a part of a remarkable ambiance.
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