Ramadan calls for healthy celebration
Observing Ramadan, this year will evidently require some extra effort. It is more of celebrating the festivities with family as a unit than community gatherings
Fasting, held from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, is one of the five main pillars of Islam. In Muslim societies, this month has always been a time to celebrate with family and loved ones.
For 30 days, Muslims gather at 'iftar', the fast-breaking meal at sunset, for the ever-enchanting sense of affinity and friendship. Many men and women plan to pray in large groups.
The month of Ramadan is traditionally marked by social gatherings and feasts, but Covid 19 has put a stop on many of these rituals. Social distancing is taking a toll on many Muslim families who depend on each other for company and support.
The streets are empty, mosques are closed and Muslims families are preparing 'Iftar' without much fanfare. On the other hand, Ramadan is traditionally a time to help the poor and underprivileged.
Here are some tips for celebrating Ramadan during pandemic
Keep it healthy
Don't make heavy dishes for 'Suhoor' or 'Sehri' (pre-dawn meals) and 'Iftar' (post-dusk meals). Add more vegetables and protein to your 'Suhoor'.
Women try to make 'Iftar' heavy to make up for skipped meals during the day. But remember that we're probably not very active during pandemic so keep things simple.
A platter of dried fruits like dates and apricots with nuts is a common appetizer for iftar, for good reason. Drink plenty of water.
Don't waste food
Plan your meals in advance to ensure that you don't end up with too many leftovers. It also gives you the opportunity to prepare meals ahead of time, saving time and energy.
Look at your fridge, freezer and pantry and try to stretch your ingredients for as many days as possible. Planning meals will also help you make a pragmatic shopping list, which would be during purchasing groceries and essentials efficiently.
Be with loved one
Even while practicing social distancing, you can still enjoy the festivities of Ramadan. Use technology like IMO, WhatsApp and FaceTime to share the time with family and friends and breaking fast together.
Finding joy in small things
Try to find happiness in everyday tasks. It's never a bad time to be more mindful of what we eat and how we live, so take advantage of the dramatic pause in social activities to make positive lifestyle changes.
While Ramadan celebrations are different this year for most Muslims, it is still a time to enjoy great food and the company of family and friends (even virtually) as a reward for long fasting days.
You may not be able to get all the ingredients or prepare all the dishes you can expect in a normal year, but remember as the world endures the pandemic, the sacrifice of fasting is more relevant than ever.