For those of you that aren't familiar with the Islamic holy month, here are a few facts about this period of religious observance:
- It's one of the Five Pillars of Islam and it commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Mohammed according to Islamic belief.
- It takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar but the specific day that Ramadan starts on is always a little up in the air until the day before, because it is based on the sighting of the new moon (hilal) in the sky. If one sees hilal at night, then fasting will begin the next day.
- Fasting from sunrise until sunset is obligatory to all Muslims (unless they are pregnant, suffering from illness or travelling)
- It's illegal to be seen eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours during this time, and anyone caught could face severe punishment. [EDIT] Non-Muslims that reside in Islamic countries must abide by this - that means me too! Some workplaces provide a designated room for you to go to for a drink or to have lunch during this time.
- It is also a time to show love respect and charity, to spend quality time with family and friends, and enjoy some sumptuous feasts after dark.
Iftar literally translates as 'to break the fast'. It is the first meal of the day after sunset, and it is a social occasion, when big groups come together, usually in large and beautifully decorated Iftar Tents. The fast is traditionally broken with high energy, small items including dates and a glass of juice. After the stomach has settled, then it is time to gorge!
Iftar is one of my favourite things about Ramadan, so when Mr Sunshine-to-be and I were invited along to sample the delights of The Grand Hyatt Doha's 2015 offering, we jumped at the chance.
Here is a selection of photos from a delicious evening, which illustrate exactly why Iftar at the Grand Hyatt is a must this Ramadan.
The Iftar tent at the Grand Hyatt will be open from sun down tonight up until Friday 17th July, and the buffet is a steal at QAR 250. It is bound to get busy so be sure to book ahead by calling +974 3029 3748.
For the rest of your 30 evenings, Qatar Eating has put together a handy little Iftar guide, which you can find here.
Embarak alaikum shahr Ramadan! Where is your favourite place for Iftar in Doha?
We were guests of the Grand Hyatt Doha for the opening of their Ramadanak tent.