Istanbul’s Ramadan rituals


Eyüp Sultan Mosque hosts various events during every Ramadan.

Ramadan, the month that Muslims around the world have been looking forward to almost a year, has finally arrived. Istanbul, the city of minarets, is surely the best place to experience the spirit of Ramadan to the fullest

The dinner table is set: Soup has been put in bowls; olives and dates have found their way near to people’s plates; somebody has already begun to pour the water into the glasses. The anticipation is killing the people sitting around the table. The meal looks delicious but everybody is in their toes, waiting for the big finale. And suddenly, they hear a huge banging, like a cannonball, and the imam of the nearest mosque calls everybody to prayer with the azan. Ramadan has finally arrived and Muslims still feel the same thrill every year with the coming of this holy month.

Ramadan, which is one of Islam’s five pillars, alongside the declaration of faith; prayer five times a day; alms-giving; and the pilgrimage to Mecca, is the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, which is an exercise in self-restraint, aimed at making the rich experience the suffering of the less unfortunate.

Istanbul, one of the greatest cities in the world, is definitely a spiritual place. Having stood for centuries, the city has sheltered people from numerous religions. However, Ramadan in Istanbul is surely a different experience. The land of minarets offers a unique and spiritual journey to its residents and guests throughout Ramadan.

There are certain things that most Istanbulites do every Ramadan. Although they sound like clichés, they are the things that keep up the Ramadan spirit all over the city.

Ramadan is the month of special meals. The whole family gets together and eats to break their fast, in a meal called iftar. The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul assumes a new identity during Ramadan. People visit here to pick up the best spices for their delicious meals as well as snacks and dessert for the rest of the evening. If you want to experience the full Ramadan dinner table spirit, you should definitely head there during this month.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.