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Ramadan in Iran: Quiet Days and Bustling Evenings

Ramadan in Iran: Quiet Days and Bustling Evenings
Ramadan in Iran: Quiet Days and Bustling Evenings

The holy month of Ramadan has a special place in Iranian culture. Muslims believe Allah (God) began revealing the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Ramadan. As such, Ramadan and its traditions are held in high regard by practicing Muslims.

Holy month of Ramadan in Iran

Ramadan started on May 17 in Iran (in 2018) and is expected to end on June 15, but the date may vary depending on the sighting of the crescent moon, which heralds the beginning of the next Arabian month, Shawwal.

Both domestic and international tourism in Iran is low during Ramadan.

4 Tips for Traveling Iran during Ramadan

Travelling Iran during Ramadan is nothing to worry about, well provided you prepare a little. Here are 4 Tips for Travelling Iran during Ramadan.

It lasts for around 28 days depending on the moon, so let’s get started.

But FIRST, let’s delve into some insights about Ramadan:

According to regional traditions and Iranian regulations, eating and drinking in public during Ramadan is discouraged. Especially for locals, where failing to observe Ramadan may attract penalties. However, there are exceptions:

  • If you have an illness, pregnant or physically weak due to medical reasons; and
  • If you are a Traveler! In which case, both eating and drinking is allowed.

Ramadan ends with a celebration known as Eid with a special praying called Fetr.

#1 Where to find Meals during Ramadan

Finding public restaurants open during Ramadan is often difficult. This is because Ramadan affects food business during daylight hours when locals observe Ramadan in Iran. Sorry to say it but this also includes public restaurants and fast food, however there are exceptions:

  • Road stops on the highways are open for travelers during Ramadan;
  • Restaurants in city center hotels are open for travelers during Ramadan;
  • General grocery stores and shops to buy fruits, snacks, drinks or whatever you like throughout the day; or
  • Don’t be surprised if households serve meals during the day, including those who do not observe Ramadan, host travelers, and all other occasions.
#2 Try to Be Considerate around Ramadan

Just keep in mind, eating (not in public) while traveling Iran during Ramadan is perfectly okay under Iranian regulations. Because if you’re away from home for more than 10 days, or a certain amount of kilometers, then you’re allowed to eat. Pretty much anytime you think fasting may affect your health while performing an activity, you can eat, and we know how tiring traveling can be.

Avoid eating in public while people fasting over Ramadan; at least where possible. As I’m sure you would agree this can be painful to watch and smell when you’re hungry and even offensive in some regions of Iran.

Ramadan Tip: You’re allowed to eat, just eat somewhere quiet, or at least in obvious tourist areas.

#3 Ramadan Feasts during Sunset to Sunrise

During Ramadan, you can eat from sunset to sunrise. Pretty much every restaurant, food stand and household will have food ready after dark.

Tip for Ramadan: Wait till the sun goes down, and enjoy the night life treats.

#4 Plan your Travel Days for Ramadan

Try to plan your travel days around the season. It’s often hot and humid during Ramadan so try to see the sites in the morning, and rest in the afternoons.

Travel Tip: Enjoy the season and rotate your day:

  • Sleep in the AM;
  • Eat and explore in the PM; and
  • Eat and transit during the late night.

Or mix it up depending on the local weather and site opening times.

So what is the Ramadan calendar this year? The dates vary slightly between Islamic countries, but for general up-to-date information about Ramadan in Iran, here’s a useful link:

www.timeanddate.com/holidays/iran/eid-al-fitr

So what are you worried about? Traveling Iran during Ramadan isn’t so bad, well, provided you plan a little.