I`m Christian orthodox and we also have feasts in our religion. There are few of them during the year, but I will tell about it later, now I want to share the experience we had in Morocco during Ramadan – the holy feasting month for all Muslims.
Before coming to Morocco my friends advised me not to eat in front of people, because they are feasting during the day time. They are not allowed to eat or even to drink water from the sunrise till the sunset. After the sun sets down and after the evening praying they could have breakfast – called Iftar. Several minutes before Iftar the life in the city stops. Everyone is getting ready to have their meal finally.
It is obligatory to feast not only according to religion but also by the Kingdom. If a Moroccan would be noticed eating or drinking during the feast time the police officers could imprison this person. The exception is given to those who are travelling, sick and to pregnant women.
But if a person travels, she will need to pay back those days, when she wasn’t feasting.
For the Iftar Moroccans have a special food which should be served before the other meals – the soup, dates and at the end – some special homemade sweets.
Life goes slower during Ramadan. It is the hottest part of the year and people can`t drink water. They are working less than usually. Many of entertaining things are closed. During the day time you would not find open place to have a lunch, so tourists have to rely on their own. Supermarkets are open, so you can buy something to eat.
Once we went to the beach and there were no women at all. During Ramadan males are not allowed to watch women in bikini (but anyway more of women are wearing clothes on the beach as well). We tried to find the loneliest place to swim then.
Ramadan ends when the cherish moon appears on the sky. Here in Morocco we had feast one day more than the others, because the day before the sky was overclouded and we didn’t see the moon. The next morning when Ramadan is over people go to the mosque and after to visit their families. It reminds Easter for me, when after the night praying people can start eating meals and visiting their families celebrating the good news.