This is a translation of an article written by Tiara. You can also read this article in Bahasa Indonesia.
Ramadan may be celebrated differently due to the pandemic, but the excitement remains as we welcomed it in a more humble fanfare this year. The holy month may signify a time for self-reflection and self-improvement, it's also a time when our Muslim brothers and sisters practice Ramadan traditions that are unique to their countries. If you're curious to know the unique Ramadan traditions around the world, scroll down to read more!
Malaysia - Bubur Lambuk
Malaysia has a delicious Ramadan tradition where bubur lambuk, also known as Malaysian spiced congee, is served. Generally prepared in large portions to be distributed to the public, this congee consists of beef, dried shrimps, garlic and spices. Sometimes, it's also served as an iftar meal during congregations at the mosque. Did you know that you can find bubur lambuk in Singapore
P.S. Want to make bubur lambuk at home? Check out this easy bubur lambuk recipe you can enjoy this Ramadan
Singapore - Ramadan Bazaars
Singapore may be a Muslim-minority country but this Ramadan tradition is widely celebrated by Singaporeans from all walks of life. Every year, Ramadan bazaars are set up and the public can enjoy a variety of food and snacks that are popular during Ramadan. Apam balik, Ramly burger, ayam percik, and murtabak are some of the crowd favourites at Singapore's Ramadan bazaars! Yes, you can also spot Ramadan bazaars in Malaysia!
P.S. Singapore's Geylang Serai Bazaar may be cancelled this year, but don't miss out on the fun at their digital bazaar
Indonesia - Meugang
The Ramadan traditions in Indonesia are incredibly diverse, and sometimes, it's unique to each region including Meugang, a tradition preserved by the community in Acheh. Every Ramadan, meats are traditionally prepared and cooked, which is then distributed to family, friends and the local orphanages. Meugang is an important tradition as it symbolises an act of gratitude for the blessings one has received throughout the year.
Middle East - Mesaharaty
You might have heard about a Ramadan tradition where a mesaharaty (also known as night callers) would rise early and wake people up for sahur. It's a unique tradition that has been practiced in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen for many centuries. Sometimes, they would beat the drums or knock on the doors with a stick. However, in places like Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine, whistles are being used instead! If they pass by the homes of people they know, they would call out their names too!
Egypt - Fanous
In Egypt, there's a Ramadan tradition where the locals would decorate their homes with fanous, also known as 'lantern' in Arabic. You can also spot these lanterns in public places where it is used to enliven the festive atmosphere in Ramadan. The sight of these hanging lanterns are more beautiful after sundown as you see it illuminating the pathway where Muslims would walked to the mosque for terawih prayers.
Bosnia Herzegovina - Meriam Yellow Bastion
The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina practiced a unique Ramadan tradition where they would fire a cannon before they break fast. What's special about it is that they don't use any ordinary cannons. For example, the cannons in the Yellow Bastion building is said to be hundreds years old. The locals also enjoy watching this tradition while having a picnic, and the roar of the cannons would often be greeted with cheers too!
India - Chaand Raat
India has Ramadan traditions of its own too! Aside from breaking fast on the mosque's terrace, Indian women would perform Chaand Raat, a tradition where they draw henna on their hands and feet, on the last night of Ramadan. The local women would seek out hennas while shopping for jewelry. Besides that, this Ramadan tradition is widely practiced in various countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.
...And there you have it! These are some of the unique Ramadan traditions that are practiced around the world. If you're interested to read about how Ramadan is celebrated in different countries, check out how our Muslim brothers and sisters celebrate the holy month in Auckland, California, and London