28/06/2022

THAILAND DAILY

NEWSPAPER / MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER

guide-to-visiting-maldives-in-ramadan-in-2022

GUIDE TO VISITING MALDIVES IN RAMADAN IN 2022

Many of our Indulge Maldives guests ask us if it is a good idea to visit Maldives during Ramadan. Our answer – Absolutely! Especially if staying on a local island – you will gain more insight into the local culture & traditions of Maldivians & you might just be lucky enough to be invited into a Maldivian’s homes. For travelling to Maldives during Ramadan, you just have to simply be aware & be a little more prepared…

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WHAT IS RAMADAN?

Ramadan is the month of ‘Sawm’ or fasting for all Muslims. It is one of the key five pillars of Islam, which form the foundations for how Muslims live their lives. It is a month of reflection, suffering, prayer (Salāt) & reading of the holy scripture, the Qur’an. During the period of Ramadan, all Muslims are obliged to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking & sexual activity from dawn to dusk and from all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts. The fasting period is in addition to the usual praying 5 times daily for Muslims, & allows them to devote themselves to their faith, show their obedience to Allah, or God, & become closer to him. It is also very much about remembering the poor & the needy who suffer from hunger & experience derivation, & is about becoming more sympathetic towards those less fortunate by helping them. 

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HOW DO MUSLIMS PRACTISE RAMADAN IN MALDIVES?

In the month of Ramadan in Maldives, Muslims will wake before the sunrise to eat (Suhoor) & perform morning prayer (Al-Fajr). Muslims will then fast during the day light hours of the day & will prepare food for the evening breaking of their fast. At sunset time in Maldives during Ramadan, Maldivians will gather in their homes with extended family, friends and loved ones for Iftār, the break fast meal after sunset prayers. Iftār usually begins with dates, followed by water, then watermelon juice and food – usually traditional Maldivian Hedhikaa or small eats – think the Maldivian version of Spanish Tapas. Itfar is a special time of each day for families to come together to enjoy and appreciate delicious food, after a challenging day of fasting. Itfar can also be celebrated at restaurants & cafes amongst friends & family, with special Itfar buffets.

For Muslims who become sick during Ramadan, or if travelling is required, they are permitted to skip days of fasting & make up for the fasting days when Ramadan ends. Pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, mentally ill and young children are also exempt from fasting. The end of the month of Ramadan in Maldives is celebrated with Eid al-Fitr, the Holy Day of Breaking the Fast, which is the 1st day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr, is one of two major holidays in the Islamic calendar & is a celebration for Muslims to show their gratitude to Allah for enabling them to complete their duty of fasting. Immediately following Ramadan, Muslims are required to make an annual donation of their savings to Muslims less fortunate to show their devotion to Allah. This is known as Zakat.

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WHEN IS RAMADAN IN MALDIVES?

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Since the Muslim calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar, Ramadan generally falls 10-12 days earlier each year, meaning Ramadan is celebrated annually at a slightly different time of the year. The beginning of Ramadan is marked by the appearance of the crescent moon. 

This year Ramadan in Maldives in 2022 is estimated to start on the 2nd of April & finish on the 1st of May, depending on the moon.

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WHAT TOURISTS CAN EXPECT WHEN VISITING MALDIVES DURING RAMADAN

Visiting Maldives during Ramadan means you will gain a special insight into the beliefs and culture of Maldivian people over this sacred month of the year. It also means you will experience some changes to the usual operation of daily life here in Maldives. Here is what most tourists can expect when visiting Maldives during Ramadan: 

Firstly, as tourists in Maldives in Ramadan, you may hear Maldivian locals wishing each other a blessed Ramadan, ‘Ramadan Mubarak.’

Secondly, you may notice that the islands seem a little more slow-paced than usual & are much more quiet during the daytime.

During Ramadan in Maldives, all shops will be working on reduced hours, or even closed during the daytime. The same goes for cafes in Maldives… all local cafes will be closed, with the exception of a few that cater strictly for non-Muslim tourists. Hotels with tourist restaurants will be allowed to stay open, strictly for non-Muslim tourists only. Tourists visiting Maldives during Ramadan should expect less dining facilities to be available during the day time on local islands – especially in Malé & Hulhumalé. We encourage all non-Muslim tourists to be mindful that the local people are fasting & show respect by consuming meals, drinks & smoking out of sight of Maldivian people before sunset time. It may be a good idea to bring some snack with you, or purchase snacks & drinks of a night time, before the following morning as it is likely that shops will be closed before 12 noon.

The times of the local speedboats & ferry services will be reduced during Ramadan in Maldives to help dedicated & fasting Maldivians conserve energy. These services will still be in operation on a reduced schedule & unlikely not to be travelling at the end of the evening around sunset / break fast time. Indulge Maldives will kindly assist all of our guests with their speedboat timings during Ramadan.

Please remember to dress respectfully when moving through the village section of a local island, or if you are lucky enough to be invited to a local’s house to experience break fast with their family.

If you’re staying on a resort island in Maldives during Ramadan, please remember to be extra kind to the local Maldivian staff & other Muslim staff who are working hard whilst fasting to ensure that you have an unforgettable vacation in Maldives. Tipping could be a very nice gesture & will be extra appreciated during the month of Ramadan.

If you are staying in Maldives over Eid al-Fitr you will truly gain insight into the traditions of Maldivian people, including coloured paint throwing & water bombing by the children, music, Bodu Beru (traditional drumming, singing & dancing), street parades & colourful costumes. Eid al-Fitr is regarded as one of the most fun family days in Maldives by locals & is very much a day of fun, celebrating and eating delicious foods prepared by the family. You may hear Maldivians wishing each other a happy Eid, ‘Eid Mubarak’ – have a blessed Eid.

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If you have any questions about visiting Maldives a s tourist during Ramadan, please reach out to use & we can offer our services to Indulge Maldives clients.

Email :holidays@indulgemaldives.com

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