We, at Sara’s Market and Bakery, have hosted a contest throughout the last two weeks of Ramadan. People from all over the world told us about how they incorporated different foods into celebrating Ramadan. In the Muslim world, fasting is extremely important because it helps us “purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice.” (Watch this great slideshow about celebrating Ramadan all over the world). However, it is also essential to stay healthy during this time of abstinence. When breaking fast at the end of a long summer day, “it’s a shock to the system to suddenly introduce food.”
Our faithful customers told us about how they break fast with pita bread (always a Sara’s favorite), mango juice, or maybe even a Papa John’s pizza with dates on top (One of the most creative ways we’ve heard to use dates!). Read more of the Ramadan posts here on our facebook page.
On August 19th, Muslims all over the world will thank Allah, “for completing their month-long fast, blessings bestowed upon them, and renewed faith.” The first Eid al-fitr (the traditional feast celebrating the end of Ramadan) was celebrated in 624 C.E. by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar. Now, Eid al-Fitr is traditionally a social holiday. People come together in mosques, parks, community centers, restaurants and homes in order to play games, exchange gifts, and most importantly, eat lots of good food!
Fasting is forbidden on these two days and food has been incorporated into several parts of the celebration. Muslims in different parts of the world make different dishes to celebrate but the tradition of some historical food and how it is prepared is universal. Here is a great list of dishes from the BBC that use dates, rose water, lamb, chicken, basmati rice and almonds.
The Smithsonian.com describes how the desserts vary in Lebanon, Palestine and Indonesia. The article also discusses how children are given lokum (or Turkish Delight, another Sara’s favorites) in Turkey.
No matter where you are in the world, people all around you will be celebrating in one-way or another as they renewed their faith in Allah.
So in the spirit of Ramadan, wear new clothes, eat some delicious food and offer your neighbor a gift. From everyone at Sara’s Market and Bakery, Eid Mubarak!