The holy month of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, begun on August 11 in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar all across the Muslim world. During this holy month, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking or engaging sexual relations from sunrise to dusk. In Morocco, this month comes with its own culinary experience and a celebration that is second to none.
In Morocco in particular and Muslim world in general, the sacred month of Ramadan ushers a shift from everyday culinary habits. A great number of special recipes are unearthed during the month of fasting, but most of all people pride themselves in their ancestral and traditional culinary legacy.
Harira, a well known soup in Northern African countries, is served as Iftar meal to break the fast after which Lahm Lehlou or “sweet meal” is served as a main meal. Lahm Lehlou is an energy-boosting meal. In some parts of Morocco, usually in the South, the daylong fast is broken with dates and milk.
North Africans, along with most people from the Muslim world, change their habits during the Ramadan. Traditionally, men attend Tarawih Salat special Ramadan prayer sessions at mosques, after which they head home to share tea and Kalb Elouz (sweet cakes) with their family members.
Fasters get up before dawn to eat Sahur, a meal that consists of couscous and milk. This traditionally Moroccan meal is above all meant to satisfy the energy needs of the Muslim faster before dusk.
Unlike other countries where the prices of basic products skyrocket during the Ramadan month, the Moroccan government adopts measures to control prices every year so as not to deprive the less fortunate of their basic food needs.
Nightlife is most animated during the Ramadan in the whole of Morocco. Coffeehouses are filled to the brim and provide entertainment as most people seek to while away their time and get ready for another physically and mentally demanding day.
Many families also choose Casablanca’s sea front close to the Hassan II mosque to pass the time during the night.
Ramadan is a period marked by security and peace, and a large number of North Africans always regret the end. It goes without saying that this period of spiritual introspection ushers brotherly love and much laughter.
Morocco has continually attracted more people from neighboring countries due to its infectious “ramadanesque” ambiance. ”I like spending the Ramadan in the Moroccan Kingdom for the particularity of its cuisine and culinary habits. The nocturnal ambiance is unforgettable” says Moulay N. from Mauritania.
This idea is shared by a large number of people among whom Nassim, an Algerian journalist who discovered the Moroccan Ramadan way of life a few years ago. “Discovering the Moroccan culinary experience during the Ramadan season was a nice surprise… I have since spent most of my Ramadan months in Morocco”.