Saturday 10 August 2013

Christmas in August

Religious Muslims go through a rough time during the month of Ramadan. They do not eat or drink – not even water – between sunrise and sunset. Exceptions are allowed for the elderly, the very young, sick people and pregnant women. As the Islamic calendar is lunar, Ramadan is a moveable feast; it gets earlier by a few days every year. This means it's going to be even more difficult next year as the days will be longer.

When the long month of fasting is over, the celebrations of Eid al-Fitr – the end of the fast – begin. The exact timing depends on the local clerical authorities' observations of the new crescent moon, so it does not necessarily fall on the same day in every country.  This year, for example, it fell on 8 August in France, but the next day in Morocco.

Eid al-Fitr is a big family occasion and everyone dresses in their very best.  As I left Tangier on Friday morning, seeing excited children running around in their new clothes, adults embracing each other, everyone smiling, it really did look like Christmas Day.

Except it was 36°C.


  1. Thank you for a wonderful Blog which I much enjoyed reading! Check out ours at How long has it been since that cold Xmas in Munich?

  2. Haha! So you're the mysterious Thailand-based reader of my blog! I'm very happy to hear from you again? Yes, that Xmas in Munich when we went to pick up your tree seems like a long time ago. I'd guess about 12 years.

    Your photos are fabulous! And the video shots taken with the drone are great! I want one!

    I knew you liked Thailand and had been there before; I can see why you went back!

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!