Ramadan is a time of fasting – and feasting – in Islamic tradition, and with more than half of Malaysia’s population practicing the Muslim faith, Ramadan bazaars are a familiar sight from mid-July to ‘Hari Raya Puasa’, the end of Ramadan in August.
Exciting and entertaining, Malaysia is fascinating to visit at this time, and to sample a delicious twist on Asian culture, there is nothing more mouth-watering than a nightly feast during the holy month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. In the evening however, they emerge onto crowded streets to dine at the populous Ramadan bazaars.
Phalinn Ooi/www.creativecommons.orgAs a venue for outdoor eating, Ramadan bazaars are popular with non-Muslims and tourists too. Offering a unique shopping and eating experience, visitors of any ethnicity can admire the sights, smells and surroundings of these colourful and crowded bazaars.
The cities of Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan are well-known for their bustling bazaars at Ramadan. Major hotel chains also feature fixed-priced Ramadan dinner buffets at this time.
And whereas the smaller cities and towns take on a quieter atmosphere at Ramadan, local restaurants and shops open late in the afternoon – so although the streets may appear deserted at first glance, they don’t stay that way for long.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/naimfadil/Large food stalls are set up for Ramadan and laboured over by zealous cooks and happy vendors. Specialty dishes are provided at an endless pace to all the ready, waiting and hungry customers.
Whether choosing fried chicken wings, tender grilled fish or satay, it's reassuring to know that the meals are cooked on site and served up quickly on smoking hot plates.
Sweet-flavoured snacks and fruit are also in plentiful supply. Caramel jelly cake is a favourite treat, as is sugar cane juice and ‘kuih lapis’, a steamed layer cake in assorted colours.