While Muhammad was alone near Mecca the Angel Gabriel told him to read, which he could not do. Over the next ten days the angel taught Muhammed ten verses and these became known as the Holy Qur'an.
This occured during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, and is called Ramadan. The end of Ramadan is marked by a three day period of special prayers, feasts, sweets and gift-giving called Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Muslim year of twelve lunar months is twelve days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, so Ramadan occurs earlier in each Gregorian year.
Ramadan in Morocco
In broad terms, Ramadan hardly affects tourists to Morocco. The only changes you will notice are that offices and banks change their hours slightly and some shops close earlier for the staff to get home and eat their evening meal at sunset. Otherwise, shops and sights that you may want to visit are open as normal. Food and drink (alcoholic or otherwise) is available throughout daylight hours in hotels and tourist restaurants. As a matter of respect, you should not walk in the streets eating or drinking and if you are in a shop, you should try not to smoke. In many ways, Ramadan is a good time to visit Morocco as it is less crowded and less busy and some hotels reduce their rates during Ramadan.
Following Ramadan is Ede, a three day celebration. During this holiday it is more likely that shops (including the souks, but not restaurants) will be closed, and other services may be disrupted.
It should be noted that the first call to prayer occurs in the early hours of the morning (not only during Ramadan). Since this is often a loud siren it may awaken light sleepers or those in riads near to a mosque. As one of our clients mentions, "The magical sound of the natural voice singing the call to prayer from the Minaret is entirely lost because of the crude amplification!"
- Ramadan 2012: 20 July – 18 August
- Ramadan 2013: 9 July – 7 August
- Ramadan 2014: 28 June – 27 July
- Ramadan 2015: 18 June - 16 July
- Ramadan 2016: 6 June – 5 July
- Ramadan 2017: 27 May - 25 June
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