Jan 14, 2008
Now is the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic year. During this month, Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset, allowing nothing to pass their lips during this time. This includes food, water, and even cigarettes. Days are long and hot this time of year, so keeping the fast is a challenge for everyone. Most people do alright until the late afternoon, when heat, thirst, and lack of caffeine and nicotine tend to make everyone irritable. But all that irritation melts away at sunset. People all break their fast with a ritual meal of harira soup, an egg, figs, dates, and honey pastries, washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice. People joyfully embrace on the street and happily share their food with friends and strangers alike. The ordeal of daylight fasting gives way to evening revels, and there's music in the streets all night long.