A wonderful thing you see on the streets here at breakfast time during Ramadan are rows of tables set out every day, for people to come and eat their break-fast or ‘iftar’. Everyone can just go and join a table, and people eat together for free – all is donated by the businesses hosting this. Sometimes, some tables also just spring up in a street somewhere on a random day, paid for by a private individual with a bit more money than most.
You also often see young men standing along the roads with boxes full of little bags with dates and juice packs, throwing those little packets through the windows into the cars speeding past with consummate skill, just to help them break the fast if they are still on duty or running late.
It is a beautiful sight to see, this unquestioning sharing with others – it raises the level of togetherness from a family affair even further, to a community coming together. Poor or not, everyone just sits and eats together.
Ramadan lasts for 30 days, and in the last week, it is time to get ready for the closing ‘Eid’ or Feast.
As soon as Ramadan starts, the streets are already lined with strings of lights, streamers and the famous Ramadan lanterns – all to make this special month extra festive.
But by the time ‘Eid’ comes up, people really go to town on the decorations and sweets. Hundreds upon hundreds of traditional biscuits are baked to give to family, and kids all get new clothes to show off as they stroll along Luxor’s Corniche during ‘Eid’. Uncles and Aunties are visited by the kids to get treats and they often end up with quite a full wallet too! It is a huge party and the biggest feast of the year.
KUL SANA W’INTU TAYBEEN!