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.
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.
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:
Ramadan ends with a celebration known as Eid with a special praying called Fetr.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
So what are you worried about? Traveling Iran during Ramadan isn’t so bad, well, provided you plan a little.