With the Holy month of Ramadan starting tomorrow,
preparations for the festivities are well underway here in Jordan! Like many monotheistic religions, Ramadan is a time for Muslims to fast and reflect on their faith.
Ramadan brings with it many cultural practices that many foreign travelers to Jordan might not know of but will make their trip that much more exciting and immersive! Whether you want to visit the Ramadan tents in the different venues and hotels or want to explore what a traditional Iftar is like, you’ve picked the right time to come!
To make your travels to Jordan more comfortable and enjoyable during the Holy Month, we here at Zaman Tours have come up with the below Ramadan Q&A for foreign travelers to Jordan:
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. It is significant to the Islamic faith since it is the month in which it is believed that God revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammad. Muslims are encouraged to fast, donate monies to charities and study the Qur’an during this month to encourage self-control, and diminish dependence on material goods and establish solidarity with the poor and less fortunate.
What are some of the Ramadan traditions?
During Ramadan Muslims engage in three traditions amongst many others including fasting, Iftar, and charitable activities.
Fasting: Muslims fast between dawn and sunset, restricting themselves from drinking and eating.
Iftar: After the sun has set, families gather together for Iftar where they break their fast, traditionally starting their meal by eating a date. This is followed by the fourth of the five daily prayers after which the main meal is served.
Charity: Charity during Ramadan is very important. According to tradition, Ramadan is a blessed time to give to charity. It is hence not uncommon to see families and individuals donate food, clothes and monies towards charities and those that are less fortunate during the Holy Month.
How long does Ramadan last?
The Month of Ramadan lasts between 29 to 30 days. The month begins with a new moon, and ends with the next new moon.
Are tourist sites open during Ramadan?
All of the tourist sites in Jordan are open during Ramadan.
Any advice on what to do whilst visiting the sites?
We would recommend guests to wear t-shirts or shirts that cover the arms up to the elbow and ideally light pants that extend to the ankles. Whilst Jordan is a liberal country and wearing shorter clothes is perfectly fine, locals working at the sites will appreciate the display of sensitivity from travelers if they are adequately clothed.
Can I eat in public?
We advise guests not to eat and drink water in public places during Ramadan as a sign of respect towards people who are fasting. It is perfectly fine to eat/drink in hotels and tourist sites and restaurants.
Can I eat/drink in touristic sites? What about restaurants near tourist sites?
Yes. Restaurants operating at tourist sites and around Amman will be open during Ramadan. The tourist sites such as Petra et al., will also have vendors selling food and drinks to visitors.
Do tourist sites opening times change during Ramadan?
The opening hours for tourist sites are as follows:
Visitor centers and ticket offices: 9 AM to 4 PM, but visitors can remain inside the sites until 5 PM
Museums: 9 AM to 5 PM
Do shops opening times change during Ramadan?
Shops located inside hotels will be open as usual. Many supermarkets and malls will operate on regular hours, but will close between the hours of 5 PM and 8 PM and then open from 8 PM onwards.
Do Hotels serve food during the day during Ramadan?
Hotels will serve food and drinks throughout the day.
Do Hotels serve alcoholic drinks during Ramadan?
5 Star hotel properties will serve alcohol during Ramadan to be consumed in their venues.
Do Hotels serve breakfast and dinner during daylight?
Hotels will serve breakfast and dinner as usual. However for guests who are fasting and would rather swap traditional breakfast hours for Iftar or Suhour can do so. Ask your Zaman Tours Travel Consultant for more information no specific hotels.
Are bars/restaurants open during Ramadan?
Many public bars close during Ramadan unless they serve food in which case they will not serve alcohol. The exception is restaurants located inside hotels.
What are some of the evening activities that I can undertake during Ramadan?
The Amman municipality is launching the “Citadel Nights” during Ramadan. The events will take place inside the grounds of the Amman Citadel every night where guests are invited to enjoy traditional dishes, folklore and music shows and authentic souks. For more information, please visit www.amman.jo/citadel/en/index.asp
Additionally several popular venues and hotels will have Ramadan themed nights at their properties. Ask your local Zaman Tours Travel Consultant for more details on these.