WHAT IS RAMADAN ?
Ramadan takes place the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and Maldivian adults will be required to fast from dawn till dusk. This annual celebration is considered as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. Beginning and end of Ramadan is always decided according to the visual sighting of the crescent moon. It is therefore impossible to decide in advance of the exact beginning date of the celebrations and might vary from country to country.
RAMADAN 2016 MALDIVES
06th June – Beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan
06th July – Eid-ul Fithr, End of Ramadan
The Maldives is a Muslim country and just like the entire Muslim community all around the world, Maldivian citizens are to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan Maldivians will refrain from eating, drinking, smoking or engaging in sexual relations during daylight. Maldivians are also instructed to refrain from sinful behaviour such as insulting, lying, cursing or fighting … This holy practice is intended to help teach Maldivians self-discipline, self-restraint, generosity and dedication to God. It is also a way of giving the body a rest, cleansing physically and spiritually.
HOW RAMADAN WILL AFFECT YOUR STAY IN MALDIVES ?
Do not worry, if you are planning to travel Maldives during Ramadan ! Actually this is a really perfect enlightening time to visit, discovering Maldives’ faith & culture, enjoying the best of the Maldivian food and celebrations.
If you stay on a resort you will be not affected at all by Ramadan. You will be served meals and cocktails every time you feel like eating or drinking. Actually you won’t notice any difference during Ramadan. Some resorts might alter timings of meals very slightly, but this is about as far as it goes.
Same for the safari boat (liveaboard) type holidays, no restriction in food or drinks. Just be careful as some of the crew members are Maldivians. They will not take offense of you smoking, drinking or eating but please be respectful, please avoid being too obvious when doing so.
If you have booked an accommodation on a local island (see our previous article TOP 5 LOCAL ISLANDS AND ATOLLS) , your meals will be served as normal in your hotel/guest houses restaurant. If you decide to eat outside you might have difficulty to find restaurant offering food during daytime.
We strongly discourage you to book your accommodation in Male capital city during Ramadan holidays as all restaurants/ cafes will be closed from dusk till dawn and only few activities are available for tourists during this period. Better choose Hulhumale island where you will enjoy the long stretched sandy beach and the numerous excursions and water sports centers open all day long.
CELEBRATIONS DURING RAMADAN
Eid-UL-Fitr is the most important festival celebrated by all Maldivians and this is something you don’t want to miss ! Eid-UL-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, special prayers are performed and parades are carried out in the streets. Games, music, dances shows are presented, families exchange presents, neighbours, friends greet each other’s and distribute sweets. But the most important moment of Eid-UL-Fitr is the feast . Families get together and enjoy an elaborate banquet with the most famous dishes of Maldives such as garudhiya (Maldivian fish soup), bondi baiy (sweet sticky rice) , mas huni (tuna and coconut mix), kulhimas (chili tuna), Hedhikaa (short eats selection), biriani and similar rice dishes, as well as different varieties of spicy curries, grilled or fried fishes, roshi etc …
ENJOY RAMADAN IN MALDIVES
If you stay in a guest house, hotel on a local island, a resort, a cruising boat you won’t even probably notice that it is Ramadan but just be respectful, try to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in presence of Maldivians. Also, Ramadan doesn’t apply to children so do not be anxious to travel with your children during this period
Maldives is a very tolerant Muslim country so do not worry and enjoy your Holidays! Ramadan is a nice period to travel, Maldivian are always happy to share this spiritual experience with guests from all around the world. This is definitely an enlightening experience for all travelers willing to discover & learn about the most important Muslim celebration in the world !