The Muslim year of twelve lunar months is twelve days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, so Ramadan occurs earlier in each Gregorian year.
Ramadan is the ninth month, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed.
While Muhammad was alone near Mecca, the Angel Jibral (Gabriel) told him to read, which Muhammad could not do. Over the next ten days the angel taught the Islamic prophet Muhammed ten verses and these became known as the Holy Qur’an. This occurred during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, and is called Ramadan.
During this month, Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. The name came from the time before the Islamic calendar, when the month of Ramadan fell in the summer, so it is often thought to symbolise the burning away of all their sins. The end of Ramadan is marked by a three-day period of special prayers, feasts, sweets and gift-giving called Eid-ul-Fitr.
Ramadan and Tourism in Morocco
Ramadan hardly affects tourists to Morocco. Tourism is the largest form of income in Morocco, and the main changes you will notice are that offices and banks change their hours slightly and some shops close earlier for the staff to get home and eat their evening meal at sunset. Otherwise, shops and sights that you may want to visit are generally open as normal.
Food and drink (alcoholic or otherwise) is available throughout daylight hours in hotels and tourist restaurants. As a matter of respect, you should not walk in the streets eating or drinking and if you are in a shop, you should try not to smoke. In many ways, Ramadan is a good time to visit Morocco as it is less crowded and less busy and some hotels reduce their rates during Ramadan.
Following Ramadan is Ede, a three-day celebration. During this holiday it is more likely that shops (including the souks, but not restaurants) will be closed, and other services may be disrupted.
It should be noted that the first call to prayer occurs in the early hours of the morning (not only during Ramadan). Since this is often a loud siren it may awaken light sleepers or those in riads near to a mosque. If you are a light sleeper or are staying in a Riad, you may find earplugs useful!
- 2011 – 1st August – 30th August
- 2012 – 20th July – 19th August
- 2013 – 9th July – 8th August
- 2014 – 28th June – 28th July
- 2015 – 18th June – 17th July