Is in less than two weeks time. It’s going to be brutal this year. You see, the Islamic Calendar is a lunar one, so Ramadan gets to cruise about through out the seasons. This year we are welcoming it in August heat and hours: Fajr (dawn) is around 3:30 am (when we stop eating and drinking) and Maghrib (sun down) is 8:30 pm. (when we break fast.) It’s not optional, it’s obligatory for every Adult, capable, Muslim… Are you ready?
I remember when I was little, Ramadan used to come in summers too. We were not allowed to come near my dad until sundown. (He’s a smoker and yes, even smoking is not allowed during fasting hours.) In the Muslim world it wasn’t particularly a big deal, we flipped our days. We stayed up till dawn and slept till late afternoon, even work and school hours accommodate their schedules to the month of Ramadan. The streets are adorned by Ramadan Lanterns, festive flags, and lights. Special Ramadan sweets make an appearance on every street corner, and for some reason, the streets smell of a mix of burned sugar and shisha smoke (for an unknown reason to this blog author, shisha smoking has been (and still is) insanely trendy amongst… almost everyone, during the holy month) There are even special customary Ramadan tents that are set up by restaurants and fancy hotels which include special Ramadan food, usually a singer or too, and most definitely shishas. (This is all in Egypt, I am not familiar with Ramadan customs elsewhere)
My current main concern so far is acquiring two Ramadan Fanoos (Laterns) for the girls. Since I could remember I had a new Ramadan Fanoos every Ramadan. It’s something that is purely cultural (only Egyptians have it) and I am sentimental about the whole thing. It’s a custom for a man to gift his soon to be wife a Fanoos for Ramadan, which is usually a ridiculously big electrical lantern, that is supposed to serve as a Ramadan decoration for their place for many Ramadans to come. My mom had one, my sisters each received one from their soon to be husbands, and I asked my (then) unseasoned American fiance’ to buy me a Ramadan lantern. He failed to get the right kind, and instead bought me a beautiful lantern that currently adorns the front door of our Egyptian flat all year round.
Long story short. I want a fanoos, I am currently not too worried about Ramadan hours this year, (but will probably freak out on the very first day…week?… month?) Meanwhile, here’s an awesome Fanoos tutorial that I plan on making with the girls soon, while also praying that miraculously any family member or friend in Egypt can send us two small fawanees for the girls.