A Feast Of Traditional Foods Marks The End Of Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it's most notable for being observed by a month of holy fasting (via Time). During Ramadan, Muslims and all who observe Ramadan abstain from eating or drinking during the daylight hours, breaking fast with iftar, a meal taken only after the sun has set. At the end of the long month of fasting and abstinence, there's a holy holiday to celebrate — Eid al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr begins at sundown on the eve of the last day of Ramadan, and it's typically observed by enjoying a lavish feast with family and friends. Traditionally, the first food eaten on Eid al-Fitr to break the fast is a date, followed by an array of savory and sweet dishes, along with tea. Different countries around the world have their own Eid al-Fitr culinary traditions, from kokoretsi in Turkey to beef rendang in Malaysia, but what the dishes all have in common is that they are meant to be extra delicious, rich, and nutritious to mark the end of the fast (via The Kitchn).

What foods are eaten on Eid al-Fitr?

There are more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, and Islam is the official religion of more than 26 countries, so it's safe to say that there are a variety of foods that are eaten during Eid al-Fitr (via Nations Online). One of the most common dishes that's enjoyed in many places, is sheer khurma. This dessert's name literally translates to "milk with dates." It's a sweet vermicelli milk pudding that can include dates, nuts, dried fruits, and spices with flavorings like cardamom, saffron, rose water, and coconut (via Cook With Manali).

Maamoul, kleicha, and kahk are all cookies that are enjoyed on Eid al-Fitr, consisting of a shortbread-like cookie that's stuffed with ingredients like dates and nuts (via Halifax Public Libraries). Another popular Eid dessert is lokum, also called Turkish delight. On the savory side, tagine stews are enjoyed in many North African countries, while in Russia, people often celebrate with manti, which are dumplings that are stuffed with spiced lamb or beef. The culinary traditions of Eid al-Fitr are as diverse and hearty, with each dish offering a mouthwatering way to break fast.