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The month of Ramadan

on 13/07/2013

During iftar – Eyüp

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time during which practitioners observe fasting from sunrise until sunset. Ramadan began Tuesday, July 9th in Turkey.During these thirty days, tourists have the opportunity to observe the lifestyle of the locals and experience Ramadan through the cultural events that follow sunset, particularly in Istanbul.
On Sultanahmet Square, as in every year, visitors can discover a craft market recalling the Christmas markets of the west. One will also discover many local delicacies and secular professions. Open during part of the day, it is nevertheless in the evening when it is the busiest.
Various evenets are held every night on Beyazit Square next to the Grand Bazaar and in the garden Feshane in Eyüp on the edge of the Golden Horn. These include concerts of traditional and mystical Turkish music, poetry readings, presentations of the sema, the ritual dance of the whirling dervishes, and many more.
It is around the Eyüp Mosque, a place of prayer and pilgrimage of importance, which one can feel the atmosphere of Ramadan in Istanbul. The surroundings are stormed hours before breaking the fast. The table is prepared on the ground, everyone brings dishes impressive in quantity and there is a good chance that you may find yourself invited by strangers to share their meal. At the complation of the meal, it is stored away at an impressive rate before the believers go to their evening prayers in the mosque invaded by the crowd.
In the four corners of the city, the iftar meal, breaking the fast, is provided each evening by generous benefactors. It is held in open areas near mosques, often under huge tents set up for the occasion or sometimes in the open air in other locations.
Vehicles equipped to distribute the dark, trays or meal packages are also stationed at strategic locations throughout the city.
In front of restaurants, queues can be impressive when the sky begins to darken.
While the passing of the drummer boy is prohibited in principle by many municipalities, the drum of Ramadan still happens often in the streets in the early hours before dawn to wake people up so they take part in the before dawn meal called sahur.
The pace of the day is idle for the population and indulgence is appropriate, given the increased difficulty of fasting in midsummer.


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