By Jenna Kleinwort
By Jenna Kleinwort
Rabat – Moroccans have come up with different ways and traditions of breaking the fast in Ramadan. One popular alternative to having the standard iftar in the family house is moving it to the beach. The beach in front of the stunning walls of the old town of the Oudayas is one of the great locations that Rabat has to offer.
From the late hours of the afternoon, people start making their way down to the beach in order to secure the best spot for their iftar. Many camping tables and chairs have been set up at the beach for the month of Ramadan only. They can be rented for 30- 50 dirhams for an evening, which means good business for those who know the traditions.
Families and groups of friends come prepared with food and drinks and all other equipment needed. Popular for the occasion are dishes that can easily be brought with, such as eggs, dates, chebakia, harcha, rghayif, cheese, milk and different juices. The brave also bring a small pot of the traditional Ramadan soup harira. Some even bring candles that are lit on the tables.
The tables are quickly set up, and then the waiting for sunset begins. The time until breaking the fast is killed easier at the beach. Kids are playing in the sand, while their parents enjoy the beautiful view of the sea. Teenagers take selfies in front of the beach or with the prepared iftar table. Some people go for a stroll along the sea and dip their feet in the water. Some surfers try to catch the last waves.
When the time gets closer to sunset, everybody becomes calm and silent, gazing at the waves in anticipation of the iftar meal. Then finally sounds the shot of the cannon in Rabat’s central district Hassan, which indicates the exact time of breaking the fast. For a minute there is silence. Many follow the tradition of prophet Muhammad and start with eating one date and taking three sips of water. The meal then continues and conversation and laughter echo in the air again. The old town walls are lit now. The moon is high in the sky. The atmosphere is special.
Ramadan is a month of spirituality, self-control, and empathy for the less privileged in society. In Morocco it is also a month of socializing which with all its traditions and customs brings people closer together.