When I’m walking in the countryside now I feel I’m surrounded by swaying mini-mosques, reminiscent of a beauty they will never see.
Unfortunately we missed Ramadan by a few days, but our lovely hotel manager showed us pictures of last year’s festivities and it looks fab. There’s a whole market at the Sultanahmet Square that opens just once a year for the religious month, and hundreds of families crowd round to break their fast together. These gatherings are called ‘street iftars’ (fast breaking) and look amazing! As it is just me and Sam at home ramadan lacks the vast amounts of food, bustle, and family chaos that I imagine in synonymous with iftar.
Here’s a picture of what the square looked like when we were there, and then during iftar:
Although Islamic countries are generally quieter in the day during Ramadan, and perhaps it’s harder to find open restaurants in non-central areas (an assumption: Perhaps someone can better inform me?), the nightlife is supposed to be huge, with shops open later and people generally in a festive mood after a hard day’s fasting. This is a fab article on things to expect in Istanbul during Ramadan. For those fasting, or those linked to someone who’s fasting, #2 will make you giggle.