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Visiting a Muslim country such as Jordan during Ramadan can be both beneficial as well as inconvenient. We have gathered the most important advantages and drawbacks of visiting Jordan in Ramadan that you should take into consideration before planning your trip.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the holy month in Islam in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daytime. With shorter working hours, many worshippers dedicate more time to religious activities and their families. There are ritual obligations called the Five Pillars of Islam which are the foundation of Muslim life. Fasting is one of those Five Pillars.
When is Ramadan in Jordan?
The dates of Ramadan are based on the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar of 12 lunar months consisting of only 354 days. With lunar calendars being shorter than Gregorian calendar (365 days), Islamic holidays such as Ramadan and Eid vary from year to year. The same principle applies to the Christan Easter celebrations whose dates are also based on a lunar calendar.
The expected dates for Ramadan are:
- Ramadan 2020: Thursday, 23rd April – Saturday, 23rd May
- Ramadan 2021: Monday, 12th April – Tuesday, 11th May
- Ramadan 2022: Saturday, 2nd April – Sunday, 1st May
- Ramadan 2023: Wednesday, 22nd March – Thursday, 20th April
- Ramadan 2024: Sunday, 10th March – Monday, 8th April
- Ramadan 2025: Friday, 28th February – Saturday, 29th March
Advantages of Visiting Jordan during Ramadan
The main reason why visiting Jordan during Ramadan is the cultural experience that this involves. Muslims don’t consider Ramadan a punishment (although refraining from eating and drinking during the day might sound challenging). In fact, Ramadan is considered the holy month in which people dedicate their time on prayer and reflection. Fasting is a sign of faith which teaches sacrifice.
As such, the atmosphere during Ramadan is very different from other times of the year. The evening meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast (known as Iftar), has a special significance. Family and friends get together to share a meal which consists of several courses.
Some delicacies such as Qatayef are widely available during Ramadan, and this is the best moment for you to try even more local specialties.
Inconvenients of Visiting Jordan during Ramadan
In respect of the locals and religion, during Ramadan even non-Muslim visitors should avoid eating and drinking in public during the day. While you are free to do so in your hotel room, please note that many restaurants and take-aways are closed during the day.
Another factor is that during Ramadan opening hours of most sights are shorter than usual and that there are less tourist guides available. Guided tours that require heavy physical activity (such as guided Wadi Mujib trails, hiking in Dana etc) are not available during Ramadan.
Therefore, if you are planning a round trip through Jordan that involves some physical activities, it is best to do so outside of Ramadan.