The auspicious month of Ramadan is greatly welcomed here in Algeria where past customs have been practiced for generations.
Before Ramadan, women take the responsibility of cleaning the house. Some women go to the extreme of totally making over the whole house; refurbishing and painting.
Algerian women usually buy new cooking utensils, which will be used in cooking the heavy meals and big banquets, and purchase new dishes.
“I am used to preparing for the holy month of Ramadan by first cleaning the house, then taking care of household matters and buying all new for the kitchen, especially dishes,” says Sajiyya, a housewife in her late thirties.
But it is not only her home that Sajiyya takes care of.
“My family also helps me in washing the carpets and the mats of the district mosque. We volunteer.”
Such preparations for Ramadan – taking care of mosques – are considered first and foremost spiritual; however, cleaning mosques is also the responsibility of the state during Ramadan.
Breaking fast, cooking at home, choice of food and other traditions…
Following the prophet’s tradition of breaking the fast, in Algeria it is done with milk and dates, then once Maghreb (sunset) prayer is over, the array of delectable food is served, where the family gathers and eats together.
After Tarawih (evening) prayer, families gather and enjoy green mint tea along with traditional delicacies, usually very rich in honey and nuts such as baklawa, ktayefs.
Other desserts that are usually had at this time include mhancha, zalabya, makroud, kalbellouz, halwet tourk, halkoum, just to name a few.
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