A large number of religious festivals are held in Maldives every year. Being an Islamic country, the most important festival held over here is Ramadan.
Ramadan in Maldives is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety. The festival is celebrated in the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The period begins with seeing of the new moon and the ends with seeing of the next new moon.
Ramadan is locally known as 'Rorda Mas'.
Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting. During this period, people fast for 30 days. Working hours are altered during this time. The government offices operate from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., while the private sector closes at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. During the daytime, the restaurants are all closed as people fast during this period. The occurrence of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar and hence the date of its occurrence varies each year. In Ramadan, prayer sessions are held five times every day.
After fasting for one month, people celebrate the religious festival by preparing grand feasts. People go to the houses of their friends and relatives or invite them to their houses to join them in these lavish feasts. A large number of local dishes are prepared in these celebrations. Most common dishes prepared include like Gula, kuli boakiba and foni boakiba. Kiru Sarbat is a sweet drink, which is prepared in this festival. The food prepared in this festival is extremely tasty and delicious. People buy new clothes and another articles in this festival.
During these festivals people visit the mosques and offer their prayers. Both young and the old take part in the celebrations and have great time together.
Ramadan in Maldives is celebrated with a lot of musical and dance programs. People gather together and sing traditional songs. Traditional dance performances and poetry recitations are also held in the Ramadan festival. Folk dances are held as well as modern jazz performances. Poetry competitions and recitations are also organized in Maldives festivals. The poets are asked to recite Raivaru, a traditional form of poetry recitation.