Ramadan is one of the five Pillars of Islam. It is the month of fastening for Muslims worldwide. The month lasts for 29 to 30 days based on the Islamic calendar, which depends on the moon movement. Each year, the people of Libya receive the month with great passion and joy, they get ready for it as if waiting for a special guest; thereby Ramadan is commonly named the Guest.
Getting ready for Ramadan comes on official and popular fronts, school, work and even TV programs, all schedule their work and fix their plans to meet with Ramadan's requirements.
Preparation starts ahead of time and at all levels. Mosques are maintained and lamps are lit on the minarets and fences of the building to receive the pioneers and worshippers who inhabit the mosques throughout this blessed month.
People in this month are more engaged in reading the Holy Quran and attending religious lessons and sermons, besides participating the Taraweeh and Tahajud night prayer, where mosques are crowded with worshippers of men, women and children in an immense passion scene, which characterizes this month.
In Ramadan, women usually like to make changes in their kitchen and acquire new kitchen utensils and dishes to present food for the family after a long fastening day, in the best possible way.
The Libyan Ramadan dinner table is rich in various foods from which shared with other Arab and Islamic tables consisting of dates, milk, fruit juices, meat, rice and other nuts and sweets, but still the Libyan traditional soup always center's the stage. However, public awareness campaigns on food waste reduction and its impact at all levels are intensified in this month through different means including media, to educate the public.
Exchanging food between neighbours at sunset (breaking fasting time) is one of the very fine Libyan traditions and customs in Ramadan, besides other Various manifestations which are truly admirable, including Collective eating in the street prepared by citizens or charitable organizations, and breaking fasting together with neighbours in the mosque where everyone is keen on bringing anything with him on Maghrib prayer however simple it was, perhaps dates or a carton of milk, to share with others in the Mosque or to present it to those who were on the road and couldn’t make it at home in time, and in exchange people try to show the better of them and throw all their sinful behaviour that contradict to the spirit of Ramadan and Islamic principles and which may negate the reward of fasting.
During this difficult, transitional period of the country, Libyans look to these Islamic values of life that are revived in Ramadan to have their impact in promoting stability, peace and harmony within Libyan society.