Ramadan is no doubt a month when we try to introspect, reflect and invigorate our connection with the creator. But it’s also a time for bonding with the family, with our neighbors, with the community at large. It’s a time when family traditions are created and are etched in our memories forever. Some of our most favorite childhood memories are linked to this beautiful month. There are certain traditions and elements of Ramadan that are a “Must Do” in each Muslim household, without which Ramadan would appear empty and dull. There is always a particular dish or recipe or a custom that brings back these fond memories. That’s why it’s so important to have these family traditions and unless they are not going against the Sunnah or the Quran we could surely pass them on from one generation to another.
Few traditions from my childhood have been carried forward as is, while some of them have been tweaked to give a modern feel and then there are a few that are brand new. Here is a list of our must do Ramadan/Eid family traditions, rituals, recipes and dishes.
- The best part about Ramadan is that we get go socialize and meet a lot of people thanks to Iftar parties and gatherings and it gives us an amazing opportunity to connect with our extended relatives, not so favorite cousins, the ever so shy neighbors and some pesky aunts and uncles too. My entire maternal family used to gather to celebrate Eid at our place mostly, as my Nani (Maternal Grandmother) used to live with us.
- Iftar gatherings always meant more food and varieties of food. Although Ramadan isn’t about feasting we continue to prepare more dishes during Ramadan. Whether Its Iftar party or Eid feast, with the whole family or friends circle coming together, we actually get to taste a selection of yummy dishes. There is always this signature dish that our moms or beloved aunts or neighbors or friends make, that we just love and eagerly wait to try out every year. I too have my own signature dishes that are exclusively prepared during Ramadan thereby making it more special.
- Eidi or Ramadan gift money is a must during Eid and it’s something that every child looks forward to receive from the elders. I have wonderful memories of how we used to eagerly wait to collect Eid money from close relatives and older cousins. We would save up this money and once we had gathered a good amount would use it up to treat ourselves or buy a toy or book of our choice. I have continued this tradition with my kids and nieces and nephews but it’s more of Eid gifts than money now.
- Henna – An Eid without henna would be so dull and colorless. Especially for young girls it’s a must do and no matter what I had to get henna done before Eid during my childhood. As a mother it’s difficult to get henna done now but Alhamdulillah I try my best to uphold this tradition. Henna adds that glamour and wow element to my Eid outfit too and it’s from our Sunnah.
- Ramadan/Eid Decor- Month of Ramadan during my childhood was more about fasting and praying and preparing for Iftar with a deep home cleaning activity planned out just before Eid. There was no special decoration done except for bringing out the new curtains, sheets and pillow covers and the best cutlery for the Eid dinner get together. But these days thankfully we have access to a wide variety of decor items or we could even create our own with some inspiration from social media. I have been religiously putting up the Ramadan decor since three years now and also because my son’s birthday falls during Ramadan so I get all the more excited about it. For two years I mainly tried to create my own decor along with some store bought stuff. But this year I mostly stuck to store bought stuff as I didn’t want to waste too much time on decorating. My son is old enough now and he gets thrilled about the decor and I sincerely hope he would fondly recall this wonderful month and reminisce the beautiful memories attached with it when he would grows up.
And here is a list of our must prepare Ramadan dishes.
- Samosas -Veg or Kheema or chicken or cheese ones.
- Sherbet– The pink cooler made with milk, rose syrup or Roohafza and basil seeds. Its so refreshing and hydrating and kids love it too so it a hit with the whole family.
- Aash– It’s a soup made of lentils, minced meat and herbs, it’s commonly made during Ramadan in my hometown Bangalore and even distributed for free at the mosques during Iftar. Refer for authentic Aash recipe here.
- Fruit Salad or Fruit Chaat -Fruits are a must to break our fast with and are usually incorporated as a salad or Chaat. Alternately, you could try this scrumptious fruit custard recipe.
- Badam Ka Hareera-A milk and almond and coconut drink that’s so filling and delicious. This is different from the Arabic Harira soup.Recipe can be viewed here.
- Sheer Khurma -Is a must at Eid and Eid would be so incomplete without this rich, delicious dessert. Its smell is so heavenly that every time you make this dish its festive aroma fills up the entire house and invokes a warm feeling. You got to try this awesome sheer khurma recipe.
Feel free to share your must do Ramadan family traditions and must make Ramadan recipes in comments.