Islam’s holy Ramadan to commence tomorrow

Islam’s holy Ramadan to commence tomorrow

Islam’s holy Ramadan to commence tomorrow
Islam’s holy Ramadan to commence tomorrow

This file photo shows AKP deputies and locals at a fast-breaking meal in Istanbul’s historic district Eyüp last year. Hürriyet photo

Ramadan is set to kick off tomorrow with the first fasting day, as Turkey continues to prepare for Islam’s holy month, which will last until the early days of August.

The days of fasting began last night, during which the Islamic world woke up for “sahur,” the first night-time meal of this year’s Ramadan, before waking up to the first day of fasting.

The first sahur of the month was set to occur at 02:39 in the morning hours in southeastern Ardahan, with sahur times falling at 03:27 and 03:35 for Ankara and Istanbul respectively. The fasting will be over by 20:28 in Ankara and 20:47 in Istanbul.

The Religious Affairs Directorate has set this year’s Ramadan theme as “halal gain, halal bite” with mosques across the country undergoing decorations in line with this year’s theme.

With the rising temperatures, believers are set to undergo a tough month of fasting, with officials strongly advising the consumption of minimum of 2-2.5 liters of liquid during sahurs and iftars – the latter meal being the one that comes after a full day of fasting.

Health Ministry official Turan Buzgan told Anadolu Agency that a healthy diet was a must throughout Ramadan, especially when the dates collide with summer months, and the warm weather poses a risk in both dehydration and digestion of heavy meals following hours of hunger.

Avoid heavy meals

Buzgan warned those who plan to be fasting to avoid greasy, salty and heavy meals, and go through sahur by eating light breakfast substances like yoghurt and cheese, or soup and vegetables. He further warned people against eating too much in iftar meals.

“Those who fast through the day will have low blood sugar levels, which will make them want to eat too fast and too much,” Buzgan said.Believers who will be welcoming a fasting day the next morning are also advised to consume water at sahurs, instead of tea, to better manage loss of vitamins and minerals in the body.

The supermarkets around the country have also been gearing up to face the holy month, with seasonal treats taking up the shelves, as well as alternative packages that can be bought on donations to various charities.

One of the charity campaigns allows citizens to purchase Ramadan packages which are then sent to the families of children suffering from leukemia, distributed by the Turkish Kızılay (Red Crescent) and the Foundation of Children with Leukemia (LÖSEVI). Ramadan packages on the shelves range from 20 to 70 Turkish Liras.