Muslims in N.S. prepare for Ramadan with weekend market in Bedford
As Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate Ramadan, Muslim business owners in Nova Scotia will be taking part in a market at the Lebrun Recreation Centre in Bedford on Sunday.
Ramadan, a month when believers fast and abstain from other activities between sunrise and sunset, is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It begins on the evening of March 22.
Dozens of Muslim business owners will take part in the Ramadan market, selling traditional food and drink, clothing and jewelry.
The market, also called a bazaar by community members, is one of many local events planned to mark the holy month.
Ghada Shuli, the owner of Chef Mama G, will be selling her bread and cakes at the market.
Shuli told CBC Radio's Information Morning Nova Scotia her breads can be served with soup as part of the main evening meal, called iftar, or it can be eaten with a dip in the morning before the daily fast begins.
"Fasting starts from early, before the sun rises, so we have a small meal just to help us during the day to continue fasting," she said.
Another vendor, Maamoun Alhindi, sells Algerian dates. Alhindi said it is important for Muslims to have dates for Ramadan.
He said having a few dates can help people abstain from food and water for the rest of the day.
Boutique owner Salma Shamo will be selling a variety of clothing at the market, including hijabs and abayas along with jewelry and accessories.
She said while food is a large part of Ramadan observances, it is also a time for community and offering support for one another.
"It's a celebration and it's really recharging time," Shamo said.
"I would like to invite everybody to come and you don't have to purchase something. Come in ... and just have a look around and have the opportunity to look into different small businesses around."
The market runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Ramadan ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which is expected to fall on April 21 depending on the sighting of the moon.
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