Ramadan is the name of the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and it celebrates the time the holy Koran was unveiled to Prophet Muhammad over 1400 years ago.

Since it‘s a lunar calendar, the beginning and end of the month are determined when the new moon is sighted by a sighting committee and the date moves by around 11 days every year.

Ramadan is a month of fasting and charity that teaches self-control and gratefulness.

Over one billion muslims all over the world fast from sunrise until sunset, every day throughout the entire month and fasting in Islam means no eating, no drinking (not even water) and no smoking during daytime.

The daily fast is broken at sunset with an evening meal known as iftar. Often a community meal and a chance for social gathering.

Working hours are usually less in ramadan compared to the rest of the year and people tend to be more active during the night.

As a greeting you can say “Ramadan Mubarak“ or “Ramadan Kareem“.

Classic Ramadan Dishes

There are certain dishes that are very popular during Ramadan such as ”Sambosa“ and “Lugaimat“. You‘d barely see an Iftar (a meal to end the daily fast) in Saudi Arabia that doesn’t include them.

Image Source: 15smeals.com


A triangular pastries filled with mined meat, chicken, vegetables or cheese. Sambusa is popular in many other countries and has different names but it‘s widely known as samosa or sambusa.

Image source: 15smeals.com


Fried dumpling that are crunchy from out side and soft from inside, usually sweetend with honey, date honey (dibs) or syrup.

You can make these dishes at home or buy them from the market.

@15smeals did a great job in making food recipes available in the internet in Arabic and in English and they have recipes of Sambusa, Lugaimat and many other dishes. 15smeals.com

Iftar distribution

You would probably see young people distributing snacks at traffic signals right before sunset during Ramadan.

Thats one of the remarkable traditions you only see during Ramadan in every single city in Saudi Arabia and many other muslim countries. Young lady’s & men would volunteerly skip spending their iftar meal with their families to do it.

This is done in order to prevent fasting commuters from rushing to catch their Iftar meal with their families on time.

Groups usually start to prepare hundreds of Iftar packs hours in advance. Each pack includes dates, water and other snacks.