Ramadan 2014June 24, 2014 by The Co-operative Food
Ramadan 2014 starts this Sunday, the 29th June and across the world Muslims will fast during the daylight hours, observing one of the five pillars of Islam.
The month of Ramadan migrates through the Gregorian calendar coming slightly earlier each year, meaning that Muslims in the northern hemisphere are currently going through their longest period of fasting with the sun rising before 5am and setting after 9pm.
The small meal, called Suhoor, that precedes the fast often consists of cereal and fruit. Then after the long day the fast is broken with Iftar, starting with dates, and followed by a healthy meal of fish, or chicken, this meal is often enjoyed in communal settings.
Ramadan is a time of prayer, charity and spiritual contemplation, and as such is suited to fasting. After a few days of fasting the endorphin levels increase in the blood and this creates a state of increased mental awareness. As the fast is no more than a month long it can be beneficial too, and then it is followed by the festival of Eid-al-Fitr, which we generally know as simply Eid. This is a three day period of celebration, wearing the finest clothes and giving.
The exact dates of the start and finish of Ramadan are determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, although many western Muslims now use predetermined dates, or those of the moon rising in Saudi Arabia.
Over the next couple of days people will be stocking up for Ramadan and planning the feast before the fast, and many will find the perfect deals at The Co-operative including products from the huge KTC range of grains, pulses, tomatoes and oils. KTC plum tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and KTC chickpeas are all on offer. From East End there‚Äôs Royal Basmati rice and chappati atta flour. There are Rubicon Juices, Cofresh snacks and the all important soft dates from the Co-operative too.
For a guide to healthy fasting during Ramadan you can visit the NHS site by following this link.