Muscat, The holy month of Ramadan brings with it faithful aspirations on the Muslim Nation. The Omani society welcomes the blessed month of Ramadan with happiness, starting with the moon-sighting, shopping, buying Ramadan supplies, mass fast-breaking in mosques, Taraweeh prayers, reciting the Holy Quran, celebrating Qaranqashu, Habta (Market preceding Eid) and Eid Al Fitr. All these events add special spiritual feelings to the spirit of people.
As the Holy Month of Ramadan draws near, people turn to media to inform them about the first day of the month. People get together in their houses to follow media as the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs begins moon-sighting of the crescent (Hilal) of Ramadan through the astronomical observatories it has developed to monitor and follow up the visibility of the crescent.
Among the special rituals of Ramadan in our local community, mass fast-breaking in mosques and family gatherings in the house of the older member of the extended family where the young and the old meet around the breakfast table.
The fasting people in the Sultanate often break their fast on dates, water and milk despite everything that is made at home of meals and pastries, but eating dates in breakfast remains necessary, which manifest the link between Omanis and the date-palm trees. It is a habit that is usually inherited by children from their parents and grandparents.
The people get early ready for Ramadan by shopping and purchasing food supplies they need to prepare the usual meals during the holy month of Ramadan, such as soups, some pastries, such as sambosa, mash and other Omani homemade foods. Some prefer to directly eat fish after breakfast and on a daily basis.
Among other rituals of Ramadan is the exchange of dishes between neighbours. It is a habit the Omani society is keen to maintain. The habit embodies the concepts of tolerance, brotherhood, familiarity and affection on which Omanis grow up with. Omanis are also keen during the holy month of Ramadan to attend Quran Recitation Rings that are held in mosques, especially after the prayers of Maghrib and Fajr.
Half-way through Ramadan, children in the Sultanate and around the GCC states celebrate Qaranqashu occasion by wearing traditional costumes and going door-to-door through their neighborhoods singing and collecting sweets and halwa.
In the last days of the holy month of Ramadan, the Habta markets (markets preceding Eid) are held. They are an open market that has a certain date and is known to the people in the various wilayats of the Sultanate, where all the needs for Eid Al Fitr are presented. The Habta is an old heritage in the Sultanate, usually held in a distinct traditional atmosphere before the Eid.
There are a number of famous Habta markets that Omanis wait for whether merchant or consumer though there are many markets and shopping malls.
Source: Oman News Agency