Ramadan in Canada is a beautiful thing.
I first felt how special Ramadan in Canada was when I started attending the night prayer, also called Taraweeh, about 10 years ago. I was living in a new city and didn’t have my family around to share suhoor and iftar meals with. I had heard that the local mosque held daily iftars before prayers and decided in that moment that I would rather eat my evening meal with the community, rather than alone and in front of the tv.
It was a bit scary – attending these evening meals at the mosque alone, without any friends or anyone I knew. But, Canada being Canada and Canadians being Canadians, I was welcomed with open arms. I quickly became familiar with the other ladies and children who frequented the mosque for iftar and prayers and they became my “family” away from home. I was encouraged to attend night prayers with my Ramadan family and the rest is history. I owe a lot to those people whom I met years ago; the people whose names I’ve forgotten and who have likely forgotten mine, too. They are one of the big reasons I fell in love with night prayers and a HUGE reason why I think Ramadan in Canada is amazing. The sense of community, the smiles, and the kindness towards others.
It’s rare to hear someone raving about Canadian weather, but here I am doing just that! The summers are beautiful and mild so the long days are bearable. Fasting for 17 hours is still difficult, but imagine living in an unbearably hot climate (hello Texas!). The beautiful Canadian summer is perfect for BBQ iftars, or #iftarbq, and for walks in the evening before iftar.
Now, winters are cold and frigid, but the days are short. So, while we will be fasting in the winter sometime in the next years, we’ll be granted some relief in the form of shorter fasts. A trade-off I can live with!
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Ramadan?
Close your eyes if you have to.
So, what was it?
Food, right? Samosas, falafels, fruit salad, knafeh, jalebi, cheesecake, etc.
One of the many blessings of Ramadan in Canada is the diversity of food! You can have biryani one day and shawerma the next. You can devour hamburgers one day and perogies the next. Pizza, burritos, soup, salad, and even avocado toast! There’s no shortage of amazing halal options in Canada.
I’ve highlighted three reasons why I love Ramadan in Canada, but truth be told, there’s probably three thousand. Prime Minister Trudeau sums up why Canada, and Canadian Ramadans are the best; “Canada is strong because of our differences, not in spite of them.”