A Guide To Ramadan In Kuala Lumpur
Known as the holy Islamic month, Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. During this religious occasion, Muslims around the world gather and take part in their local customs and traditions – which typically involve praying, fasting and focusing on having a deeper spirituality.
Although the dates vary each year, Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur is determined by the sighting of the new moon, which often falls between the months of May and June. However, the second moon sighting marks the end of the fasting month and the celebration that happens over the next few weeks is called Eid, popularly known as Hari Raya in Kuala Lumpur.
What Is Fasting?
A common practice seen among Muslims during Ramadan is fasting. Deemed as one of the five pillars of Islam, followers abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, as they believe that the act of fasting teaches them self-discipline and empathy towards those less fortunate. This practice includes praying, hydrating and consuming meals in the early hours before sunrise, also known as sahur, to prep them for a full day of fasting. The abstinence of food and water also includes the abstinence of smoking and ‘sinful’ behaviour, such as gossiping, swearing and lying to others.
During the day, those that are fasting are expected to carry out their usual tasks and routines, such as working and exercising. Islamic teachings require Muslims to be self-conscious during this period and foster generosity, forgiveness and love among others. Children, the elderly and the ill are not required to fast, as well as women who are nursing, pregnant or menstruating.
How To Break Fast
Breaking fast, locally known as berbuka puasa or iftar, is observed during sunsets. This typically includes lavish spreads of food and drinks, where individuals invite their friends and relatives to bond together, as they indulge in their sumptuous meals. As the timings to break fast depend on the time of the sunset, you will find many eateries, roads and public transport crowded with people commuting home to iftar with their loved ones. Typically, Muslims break their fast by taking a few sips of their drink and saying a few prayers, before feasting on a variety of food to celebrate the end of the day-long fasting.
Tips For Ramadan In Kuala Lumpur
If you are travelling to Malaysia during this religious time, it is important to be considerate to those who are fasting. Here are a few tips for you to take into account when exploring during Kuala Lumpur’s Ramadan!
- Dress modestly: Try to avoid wearing revealing clothes at this time, such as sleeveless tops and shorts, as Muslims will be covering up to pray at their local mosques.
- Avoid public smoking: As smoking is prohibited whilst fasting, it is advised to not smoke in public as a sign of respect during this religious time.
- Check transportation schedules: Make sure you check the public transportation schedules, as their services and times may vary due to many Muslims traveling home to break fast together.
- Avoid peak periods: As the sun sets around 7:30pm, there will be a large crowd heading out to dinner. So, you may want to plan your dinner ahead of time and avoid the rush by making your reservations in advance.
Feasting During Kuala Lumpur’s Ramadan
With many Muslims fasting this month, Ramadan bazaars in Kuala Lumpur are not a rare sight to find in the late afternoon, offering an assortment of local dishes such as Roti Jala, Pisang Goreng, Ayam Percik and more. During your trip to the capital of Malaysia, we highly recommend visiting a bazaar during Ramadan, as you will find many local favourites freshly cooked and at decent prices too!
Alternatively, you can enjoy a fruitful reunion with your loved ones at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur. Celebrating Malaysia’s multi-ethnic makeup, break fast with your loved ones at Serena Brasserie with a delectable buffet spread of local dishes for a fulfilling appetite. Our culinary team have curated an exclusive menu featuring Malaysian classics, which incorporate their favourite childhood flavours. You can enjoy dishes including Kibas Bakar Pak Cik Yusof (Roast Lamb), Ikan Tiga Rasa Pak Cik Mortaza (Three Flavoured Fish) and Uncle Wong’s Stir-Fried Tiger Prawn with Butter Sauce and Egg Floss.
You can make your reservations here!