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Ramadan in Iran

Ramadan Month

A Guide on Culture, Traditions, and foods you want to know on visiting IRAN during Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Lunar Calendar. During this month, adult Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. They do not eat any food or drink any liquids. It is a time of praying, contemplation, fasting. Not eating food is what Ramadan implies to most people. However, it is really about detoxicating the soul and an excuse to forgive. In this month, Muslims empathize with the poor and the needy and learn to appreciate God’s blessings in their lives. Also, they share food with the poor, invite people for the meal that breaks the fast (Iftar). They give away free meals as charity. Mosques become more active during Ramadan. Volunteers who perform acts of charity, distribute food in mosques to people.

Fasting is obligatory for Muslims, except for pregnant women, the ill, children, and some travelers. During Ramadan in Iran, Everyone tries to have their families and friends over for dinner. So at the time of sunset, families, companies, universities, and schools gather for a special Iftar dinner. The lifestyle of the people, working hours of some offices and shops in Iran face fundamental changes during the month of Ramadan. If you plan to travel to Iran this month, the cooking market, pastries, butcher markets heat up and are must-visits.

 

What if you visit Iran during Ramadan? What does  Ramadan mean for tourists in Iran?

Tourists in Iran in the month of Ramadan Tourists enjoying Ramadan traditions in Iran

 

With the expansion of the tourism industry, travel to Iran during Ramadan became a question for tourists. They all want to know how to behave in Ramadan and whether traveling to Iran these days is a good idea in the first place. It made us do a survey about the comments on Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. And we found some interesting results: Travelers to Iran are aware that they should not eat or drink in public during Ramadan. However, Iranians tend to be even more hospitable these days. And the decrease in domestic trips of Iranians makes the attractions uncrowded. So all in all, people have recommended a trip to Iran in the month of Ramadan.

 

Different Meals in Ramadan

In Iran, there are a variety of delicious and healthy foods such as fantastic stews, sweets, fresh dates, traditional cheese, butter with fresh and raw vegetables, and walnuts. People have these dishes in two main meals during the day:

 

Sahari, the meal before sunrise

Sahari, a meal before sunrise Muslims eat Sahari before sunrise in the month of Ramadan

 

In Ramadan, people wake up early before dawn to have a pre-fast meal called Sahari. Eating this meal before sunrise indicates that fasting can be a healthy diet. Sahari is usually light and is served before sunrise since enough protein and water should reach the body. Ramadan pre-dawn meals normally include the same food that Iranians have at lunch during other months of the year.

Iftar, a more elaborate meal in the evening

Iftar Iftar is usually more elaborate than Sahari in Ramadan

 

Since fasting people do not receive the nutrients, sugars, and water they need during the day, they should make up for this deficiency by eating nutrients at predawn and Iftar. Iftar meal includes a variety of foods that are good for the body and maintain the strength of the fasting person, so it is better to get acquainted with the foods and beverages that have these characteristics. Iftar meal includes 3 parts itself. In Iran, there are 2 courses on the Iftar table. The starter and main course. Fasting people do not break their fast at once. They break their fast with a hot soft drink (water, warm milk, rose and saffron syrup, or Persian tea) and rock candy or dates to raise the blood pressure, and then comes the Persian tea.

 

Some of Traditional Persian Cuisine you must try during Ramadan in Iran:

Here are some extremely delicious and heavenly treats that you will definitely see on the Iranian Iftar table:

 

1- Ash Reshteh, the Traditional Iranian Version of Noodle Soup

Ash Reshteh Ash Reshteh is a popular soup in the month of Ramadan

 

Ash Reshteh is the most traditional Persian stews dish and has hundreds of different versions cooked in different parts of Iran. It is a thick mixture of vegetables, Persian noodles, fried onion, fried garlic, fried dried mint powder, beans, etc. Iranians also add some Kashk, a salty diary sauce of dried yogurt, which makes Ash Reshteh more savory.

 

2- Dates or Stuffed dates

Stuffed Dates Iranians love having stuffed dates, especially with tea!

 

For thousands of years, date fruits have been the staple food of the Middle East and India. They are rich in antioxidants and fiber and also have a lot of potassium. In addition, the consumption of dates during Ramadan is very useful in regulating blood sugar, so it is recommended to eat 3-5 dates at Iftar meal. According to some researches, in the last hours of fasting, blood sugar drops and affects the brain, causing a person to feel bored and weak, and the fasting person’s concentration decreases. Iranians stuff dates with walnuts and a sprinkle of coconut powder on its top which makes it really interesting!

 

3- Delightful scent of Persian Halva

Halva Halva is a popular sweet delicacy in Iran

 

The Persian Halva is a famous Iranian sweet that is almost always served at an Iranian funeral and during Ramadan. Flour along with oil, sugar, cardamom, rose are the main items of this Iranian dessert. Its color varies from light golden to dark brown depending on the type of baking.

 

4- Persian Haleem, a Strong Appetizer

Haleem is a high-calorie, thick, paste-like consistency Persian Porridge with meat. Iranian people serve Haleem as breakfast on normal days. But in Ramadan, Haleem is a delicacy on the Iftar table as well. We make it with shredded meat (beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), wheat, and spices (cinnamon, sugar, or salt). You must cook Haleem slowly for more than 8 hours, which results in a paste-like consistency.

 

5- Sholeh Zard, the Persian Saffron Rice Pudding

Shole Zard Shole Zard is a popular sweet soup-like delicacy

 

Sholeh Zard is a Persian rice pudding with delicate mild sweetness. Iranians make it with saffron, rose water, pistachios, cinnamon, and almonds in golden color.

 

6- Zulbia and Bamiyeh: The Ambrosial, strange and delicious sweets of Ramadan

Zulbia Bamieh Almost all Iranians eat Zulbia Bamieh at the time of Iftar

 

The sticky and crispy Zulbia and tasty fluffy Bamiyeh, the most popular Ramadan sweets, are the Persian version of crispy doughnuts that dates back to the time of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar. You cannot forget the sweetest memory, Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside of them after eating!

These two traditional sweets, made of deep-fried dough drunk in tasty syrup, are associated with the sun and light. The reason for the emergence of such delicious sweets was that in the past in some cities of Iran, sweets such as raisins and dates were not available. They were not cultivated due to weather conditions. Transporting these materials to other cities also caused many problems, which led to the gradual invention of Zulbia and Bamiyeh. These tasty sweets spread in cities that did not have much fruit or nuts. This delicacy was so popular that it was brought kings as a gift 150 years ago.

 

Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan

Eid al-Fitr is one of the religious holidays. It is the end of Ramadan and the first day of the new lunar month of Shawwal. Fitr is one of the most important Muslim official holidays and festivals which we celebrate with a great feast. Most people attend their local mosques and perform prayers. On this day, nobody fasts!

 

More About Iran and Traditions:

Ashura

Yalda Night

Chaharshnabe Suri

Iran Travel Advisory

Ramadan in Iran

Ramadan Month

A Guide on Culture, Traditions, and foods you want to know on visiting IRAN during Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Lunar Calendar. During this month, adult Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. They do not eat any food or drink any liquids. It is a time of praying, contemplation, fasting. Not eating food is what Ramadan implies to most people. However, it is really about detoxicating the soul and an excuse to forgive. In this month, Muslims empathize with the poor and the needy and learn to appreciate God’s blessings in their lives. Also, they share food with the poor, invite people for the meal that breaks the fast (Iftar). They give away free meals as charity. Mosques become more active during Ramadan. Volunteers who perform acts of charity, distribute food in mosques to people.

Fasting is obligatory for Muslims, except for pregnant women, the ill, children, and some travelers. During Ramadan in Iran, Everyone tries to have their families and friends over for dinner. So at the time of sunset, families, companies, universities, and schools gather for a special Iftar dinner. The lifestyle of the people, working hours of some offices and shops in Iran face fundamental changes during the month of Ramadan. If you plan to travel to Iran this month, the cooking market, pastries, butcher markets heat up and are must-visits.

 

What if you visit Iran during Ramadan? What does  Ramadan mean for tourists in Iran?

Tourists in Iran in the month of Ramadan Tourists enjoying Ramadan traditions in Iran

 

With the expansion of the tourism industry, travel to Iran during Ramadan became a question for tourists. They all want to know how to behave in Ramadan and whether traveling to Iran these days is a good idea in the first place. It made us do a survey about the comments on Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. And we found some interesting results: Travelers to Iran are aware that they should not eat or drink in public during Ramadan. However, Iranians tend to be even more hospitable these days. And the decrease in domestic trips of Iranians makes the attractions uncrowded. So all in all, people have recommended a trip to Iran in the month of Ramadan.

 

Different Meals in Ramadan

In Iran, there are a variety of delicious and healthy foods such as fantastic stews, sweets, fresh dates, traditional cheese, butter with fresh and raw vegetables, and walnuts. People have these dishes in two main meals during the day:

 

Sahari, the meal before sunrise

Sahari, a meal before sunrise Muslims eat Sahari before sunrise in the month of Ramadan

 

In Ramadan, people wake up early before dawn to have a pre-fast meal called Sahari. Eating this meal before sunrise indicates that fasting can be a healthy diet. Sahari is usually light and is served before sunrise since enough protein and water should reach the body. Ramadan pre-dawn meals normally include the same food that Iranians have at lunch during other months of the year.

Iftar, a more elaborate meal in the evening

Iftar Iftar is usually more elaborate than Sahari in Ramadan

 

Since fasting people do not receive the nutrients, sugars, and water they need during the day, they should make up for this deficiency by eating nutrients at predawn and Iftar. Iftar meal includes a variety of foods that are good for the body and maintain the strength of the fasting person, so it is better to get acquainted with the foods and beverages that have these characteristics. Iftar meal includes 3 parts itself. In Iran, there are 2 courses on the Iftar table. The starter and main course. Fasting people do not break their fast at once. They break their fast with a hot soft drink (water, warm milk, rose and saffron syrup, or Persian tea) and rock candy or dates to raise the blood pressure, and then comes the Persian tea.

 

Some of Traditional Persian Cuisine you must try during Ramadan in Iran:

Here are some extremely delicious and heavenly treats that you will definitely see on the Iranian Iftar table:

 

1- Ash Reshteh, the Traditional Iranian Version of Noodle Soup

Ash Reshteh Ash Reshteh is a popular soup in the month of Ramadan

 

Ash Reshteh is the most traditional Persian stews dish and has hundreds of different versions cooked in different parts of Iran. It is a thick mixture of vegetables, Persian noodles, fried onion, fried garlic, fried dried mint powder, beans, etc. Iranians also add some Kashk, a salty diary sauce of dried yogurt, which makes Ash Reshteh more savory.

 

2- Dates or Stuffed dates

Stuffed Dates Iranians love having stuffed dates, especially with tea!

 

For thousands of years, date fruits have been the staple food of the Middle East and India. They are rich in antioxidants and fiber and also have a lot of potassium. In addition, the consumption of dates during Ramadan is very useful in regulating blood sugar, so it is recommended to eat 3-5 dates at Iftar meal. According to some researches, in the last hours of fasting, blood sugar drops and affects the brain, causing a person to feel bored and weak, and the fasting person’s concentration decreases. Iranians stuff dates with walnuts and a sprinkle of coconut powder on its top which makes it really interesting!

 

3- Delightful scent of Persian Halva

Halva Halva is a popular sweet delicacy in Iran

 

The Persian Halva is a famous Iranian sweet that is almost always served at an Iranian funeral and during Ramadan. Flour along with oil, sugar, cardamom, rose are the main items of this Iranian dessert. Its color varies from light golden to dark brown depending on the type of baking.

 

4- Persian Haleem, a Strong Appetizer

Haleem is a high-calorie, thick, paste-like consistency Persian Porridge with meat. Iranian people serve Haleem as breakfast on normal days. But in Ramadan, Haleem is a delicacy on the Iftar table as well. We make it with shredded meat (beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), wheat, and spices (cinnamon, sugar, or salt). You must cook Haleem slowly for more than 8 hours, which results in a paste-like consistency.

 

5- Sholeh Zard, the Persian Saffron Rice Pudding

Shole Zard Shole Zard is a popular sweet soup-like delicacy

 

Sholeh Zard is a Persian rice pudding with delicate mild sweetness. Iranians make it with saffron, rose water, pistachios, cinnamon, and almonds in golden color.

 

6- Zulbia and Bamiyeh: The Ambrosial, strange and delicious sweets of Ramadan

Zulbia Bamieh Almost all Iranians eat Zulbia Bamieh at the time of Iftar

 

The sticky and crispy Zulbia and tasty fluffy Bamiyeh, the most popular Ramadan sweets, are the Persian version of crispy doughnuts that dates back to the time of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar. You cannot forget the sweetest memory, Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside of them after eating!

These two traditional sweets, made of deep-fried dough drunk in tasty syrup, are associated with the sun and light. The reason for the emergence of such delicious sweets was that in the past in some cities of Iran, sweets such as raisins and dates were not available. They were not cultivated due to weather conditions. Transporting these materials to other cities also caused many problems, which led to the gradual invention of Zulbia and Bamiyeh. These tasty sweets spread in cities that did not have much fruit or nuts. This delicacy was so popular that it was brought kings as a gift 150 years ago.

 

Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan

Eid al-Fitr is one of the religious holidays. It is the end of Ramadan and the first day of the new lunar month of Shawwal. Fitr is one of the most important Muslim official holidays and festivals which we celebrate with a great feast. Most people attend their local mosques and perform prayers. On this day, nobody fasts!

 

More About Iran and Traditions:

Ashura

Yalda Night

Chaharshnabe Suri

Iran Travel Advisory

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