Israel is a country holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The Muslim population is the largest population in the country, and Arabic is the second official language. In order to fully understand the country, we must understand all the people who live here. The most well- known and holiest holidays in the Muslim calendar is the holiday of Ramadan. What is Ramadan? And what is Ramadan in Israel?
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month that Muslims around the world observe through fasting from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. They will break the fast once the sun has gone down. Muslims are also to avoid impure thought and bad behavior during the month of Ramadan. The month long celebrations commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and considered an obligation for adults. The Night of Power is a very holy night during Ramadan, and is the night that the first revelation of the Quran was sent down to Muhammad. The month ends with the celebrations of the holiday, Eid-al- Fitr.
The holiday of Ramadan is celebrated throughout the country, but the largest celebrations are in Jerusalem. You can also find celebrations is cities like Nazareth in the north and in Bedouin villages in the south.
What are some of the ways you can celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in Israel?
Visit the Old City of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is home to four different quarters, including the Muslim Quarter. During the evening there are many festivities, music, and bright, colorful lights throughout the neighborhoods. During the sunlight hours of the day, many stores may be closed, so go during the evening to experience all of the celebrations. Even simply walking around the Muslim Quarter is an experience!
Visit the Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem
The Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem works to promote not only Islamic Art, but also promotes a virtual “bridge” between societies and understanding. Exhibits and showcases rotate and are open throughout the year, but what better time to visit the museum than during the most important Muslim holiday in the calendar?!
Visit the city of Nazareth
The city of Nazareth is the largest Arab city within the state of Israel. There are Muslim and Christian communities living in the city. Now Nazareth is famous for the story of the annunciation of the Virgin Mary with Jesus. But the city is important to Muslims as well, as Muslims believe in the holiness of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Ramadan is a great time to visit Nazareth, especially in the hot summers when the Galilee is cooler.
Visit Akko and Haifa
Akko and Haifa are great cities to visit during the month of Ramadan. Akko is home to a mosque that allows non- Muslims in AND home to a hair of the prophet Muhammad. The city of Akko is rich in Arab culture, and a great place to visit during Ramadan in Israel. Haifa is is well- known for its co-existence between Jews and Arabs. It is a great place to visit in order to gain some hope for the future. Both of these cities are close by, so it’s easy to see both in a day trip.
Break the fast with a Muslim family in Israel
The best way to really celebrate Ramadan in Israel is to break the daily fast with a Muslim family in Israel! It provides a celebrate the holiday with real people living in the country. It will provide an opportunity to meet with Muslims living in Israel, to ask them questions about what it’s like living in Israel, and more!
These are just a few of the things that you can do to celebrate the holiday of Ramadan in Israel. Go and explore everything possible! May all who celebrate Ramadan in Israel and around the world have a meaningful and happy holiday!