When planning a trip to Jordan, it is important to take into account Ramadan, and when it falls each year. So what is Ramadan? Why does it matter when traveling to Jordan? Below you will find all of the answers to common questions about Ramadan in Jordan as well as approximate upcoming Ramadan dates.
What is Ramadan?
Most westerners do not encounter Ramadan in their day-to-day life unless they have close friends who are Muslims who take part in the holy month of fasting. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Muslim calendar is shorter than the typical 365 day calendar (called the Gregorian calendar) that we use in our day-to-day lives. That means that every year, Ramadan begins somewhere between 10-12 days earlier than the previous year. It is currently occurring in the Spring, but it will fall in every season as it takes 33 years to cycle through the 365 day Gregorian calendar.
Islamic tradition states that it was during Ramadan that God revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. Typically Ramadan is a period where muslims practice self-restraint. It is most commonly known as the time of fasting from dawn to dusk but it includes food, drink, sexual activity and immoral behavior like smoking or impure thoughts.
After the sunset prayer, Muslims gather to break their fast with a meal called iftar. This is the time when friends and family get together.
Should you visit Jordan during Ramadan?
This question does not have an easy answer. The answer can be yes or no, depending on what kind of experience you are looking for. If you are a typical western visitor (like me) who is going to see the sights, meet the locals, and experience Jordanian culture, Ramadan will pose some inconveniences, but also cultural experiences that will be different than other times of the year.
My personal suggestion is that if you can avoid visiting Jordan as a tourist during Ramadan then you should. Sites typically have shorter opening times which makes seeing the country more inconvenient than other times of the year. It is also rude to eat or drink in public during Ramadan. While non-muslims do not need to fast (there are many people in Jordan who do not fast), out of respect for those who are fasting, it is in poor taste to eat or drink in public.
Some restaurants will be closed during the day, but most that cater to tourists will be open. However, they may have curtains over the windows out of respect for those outside.
Ramadan in Jordan Upcoming Dates
These dates are approximate and depend on the crescent moon. They can be adjusted a day or so in either direction.
|Ramadan in Jordan 2023||March 22nd 2023 – April 20th 2023|
|Ramadan in Jordan 2024||March 10th 2024 – April 8th 2024|
|Ramadan in Jordan 2025||February 28th 2025 – March 29th 2025|
After Ramadan comes the Eid al-Fitr Public Holidays
Directly after the end of Ramadan is a celebratory holiday. It comes on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, immediately following the holy month of Ramadan. It is one of the most important of all Muslim commemorations. It typically lasts 4-5 days in Jordan. Book ended by a weekend, it means up to 9 days off for locals.
In English, Eid al-Fitr is known as the Feast of the Fast-Breaking. Each country celebrates differently with some being more lavish than others. Typically Eid al-Fitr includes special pastries, gifts, time to visit the graves of relatives as well as time for a family holiday (such as a visit to Aqaba or the Dead Sea).
You will likely find that Aqaba hotels will all be sold out during Eid-al-Fitr. Jordanians from all over the country will come to Aqaba with their families to enjoy a holiday. If you plan to be in Jordan during Eid, book your accommodations well in advance.
|Eid al-Fitr 2023||April 21st 2023 – April 24th 2023|
|Eid al-Fitr 2024||April 9th 2024 – April 12th 2024|
FAQ about Ramadan in Jordan
Yes. As a Muslim majority country, Ramadan is celebrated each year in Jordan.
Most sites in Jordan are open all year round. However, hours are typically different during Ramadan (many places open late)
Unless the tourist is a muslim, it is not expected that tourists take part in the self-restraint.
After experiencing Eid in Jordan, I actually think it is better to visit during Ramadan. During Eid the vibe of the country is very different with everyone in holiday mode. But with that being said, the busy traffic in Amman is almost non-existent. Places like Aqaba will be very busy. DIve boats are sold out and traffic is gridlocked. While Petra is typically ok to visit, you may encounter those on holiday visiting the site and it can be very busy depending on the day. If you can avoid Jordan during the Eid, I would suggest it.
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