Ramadan For Tourists in Marrakech

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What is Ramadan?
 
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. There is no exact coincidence with any date of the Gregorian calendar (since one is lunar and the other is solar) so each year, if you are thinking of travelling to Marrakech, you should enquire about the exact fasting dates.
 
What is forbidden during Ramadan?
 
During Ramadan, Muslim men and women are not allowed to eat or drink during the day. Fasting starts at daybreak and lasts until sunrise. Both events, as well as all the prayers that will have to be performed throughout the day, will be announced by the imam from the minaret of each mosque.
 
Who is exempt from Ramadan fasting?
 
Sick people, pregnant women or women having their period, and minors are exempt from fasting. In any case, except for children, those who have missed fasting days should make up for them as soon as they can.
 
What can be eaten during the hours when there is no fasting?
 
Oddly enough, during the hours when there is no fasting, Ramadan is the time of the year when people eat more. At quarter to seven (approximate time in which fasting ends) the cafés of Marrakech are full of people seating in front of a bowl of harira (traditional Moroccan soup), a hard-boiled egg, msemen flat cakes (exquisite unleavened bread), a cup of mint tea, as well as some dates and honey cakes.
 
They all wait patiently for the imam’s signal and, as soon as the first words of the prayer are heard from the PA system, fasting is broken. This simple menu is just an appetizer and a preparation from what is to come once they get back home: a copious and delicious dinner elaborated by women during the whole day.
 
How should we foreigners behave during Ramadan?
 
Moroccans are profoundly tolerant towards foreign religions and customs, so no one will be surprised by the fact that you do not fast. In any case, even if it is just out of common sense, humanity and education, we should not drink or eat in front of a thirsty and hungry Moroccan.
 
What is a working day during Ramadan like?
 
Muslims do not stop working during Ramadan, but working hours change. Offices and banks are usually closed in the afternoon, restaurants open from around 9 pm, and many shops put their opening times back and open during the night. Going out at night is very pleasant because the streets are packed with life, in contrast to the daytime lethargy. 
 
In any case, we do not really recommend travelling to Morocco during Ramadan.
 
Come to Marrakech and enjoy everything the Ochre City has to offer, from culture and a fascinating tradition, monuments and countless tourist attractions, to a delightful gastronomy and the widest range of shopping opportunities.
 
Moreover, hotels in Marrakech are of the highest quality and quite affordable, and particularly Marrakech riads, which are full of charm and very inexpensive. You can also stay in a wonderful villa in Marrakech, closer to the countryside, where its inhabitants will welcome you with open arms.