Are you in or around Kuala Lumpur during the month of Ramzan? If yes, you’re in luck. To know about a country, it’s important to experience its culture and people, so let me take you to a tour of one of the most unique experiences I had of witnessing thousands of people breaking fast/taking part in Iftar, in Kuala Lumpur on my recent trip to Malaysia.
The holy month of Ramadan has begun. The time of the year when the Muslim community is filled with festivity, feastings, and prayers. It is a time for introspection, and you will see communal prayers in various mosques and the reading of the Quran.
❓ If you are wondering, What is Iftar❓
✔️ Iftar is one such communal traditional followed by the Muslims, where they break their fast together and gather to have a meal.
Malaysia, as we know, is a land of vast cultural diversity. People of different ethnicities live in the country and despite the difference in religious views of different communities, many of the Malaysians, both believers and non-believers commingle to celebrate Iftar together in this holy month of fasting.
Iftar buffets are one such tradition, where you can participate together with your friends, family or your colleagues. The buffets generally take place during the evening, when the Muslims finish their prayer and break their fast.
Iftar Kuala Lumpur Programme by Malaysia Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Iftar Kuala Lumpur program is organized by the Malaysian government as an initiative to educate the different communities about the significance of the fasting held by the Muslim community and also to increase the sense of appreciation among both the Muslims and non-muslim communities. The program also creates a sense of goodwill and fosters mutual bonds between the different communities.
The feast is held in Dataran Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur and you will see thousands of people belonging to all communities feasting together in a grand feast organized by the government of Malaysia.
You will see the Muslim populace of the city along with people of the city belonging to various different communities and foreign tourists, sitting together, side by side on a mat and breaking the fast together.
The feast is held with the historic backdrop of Dataran Merdeka, Sultan Abdul Samad building and Royal Selangor Club.
Sitting together, the people dine on dates, ‘Buka Puasa’ and cakes followed by a meal. Everything is distributed by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture. The iftar program has been organized for five consecutive years now, and it has become a point of significant interest, not just for the Muslims but also for the tourists visiting to experience the culture of Malaysia.
The historical Dataran Merdeka Square
Dataran Merdeka is a significant square in Kula Lumpur with a lot of history to it. This square is where Malaysia gained its independence in 1957, and Independence Day festivities take place every year in this square. The square is surrounded by many skyscrapers and monuments of historic interest.
Sultan Abdul Samad building was built during 1897 and was named after Sultan Abdul Samad, who was in the reign of Selangor at that time. The building is an example of Moorish style architecture and in the earlier ages served as the secretariat of the British Colonial administration. In the present times, it is considered as a distinguished landmark in Kula Lumpur.
Royal Selangor Club is another famous historical building in the Square. The club is more than a century old, and it is a place that the people of Malaysia go to socialize. In the early ages, the club used to be the place where high-end members of the British Colonial Society met and socialized.
Explore around Ramadan Bazaar
The weekend Ramadan market in Dataran Merdeka is definitely one of the biggest Ramadan markets in Malaysia. After iftar in Dataran Merdeka Square, head to the bazaar to buy Raya clothes.
From food stalls selling dates, Nasi Goring Kampong, Bubur, and coconut to stores selling Raya clothes and jewelry, you will find a lot to explore in this Bazaar.
The earrings found in this market are exceptionally beautiful. With modern designs, you would love to adorn one of these in your ears. I purchased 2 beautiful earrings from here for 40 Malaysian ringgits.
Though the market is massively crowded during the Ramadan festive season, you will love shopping in the bazaar.
Take a stroll along the River of Life
The River of Life, regeneration project of the 8 Rivers in Klang Valley. It is also nestled near the Dataran Merdeka Square, and the area is surrounded by beautiful fountains, cafes and bicycle paths making for a nice chill out spot. The light shows that takes place here is nothing short of surreal. The lights change every now and then and sometimes even mists come out. After your iftar feast, you can take a walk along the River of Life and enjoy the light show.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is definitely not an easy feat, and programs like the Iftar by the ministry of Malaysia is an attempt to increase the sense of appreciation of this holy fasting among various communities. Attend this Iftar east, and you’ll surely come out with the experience of a lifetime.