Ramadan in Rotterdam - dates, activities, information

Ramadan in Rotterdam - dates, activities, information

Rotterdam has a large Muslim community, and Ramadan is an important month for many Muslims living in the city. Find out what Ramadan is all about and how you can take part in the tradition. 


When is Ramadan in Rotterdam?

The start of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the new moon. In Rotterdam, Ramadan 2025 will likely start at sunset on Friday, February 28th 2025, and end on the evening of Saturday, March 29th 2025. If the new moon isn't sighted, Ramadan may actually start a day later. 


What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a holy month in the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims observe fasting, prayer, and spiritual reflection. It is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and lasts for 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

Fasting during Ramadan involves abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset. It is seen as a way to purify the body and soul and to focus on spiritual discipline and devotion. Muslims also increase their recitation of the Quran and engage in additional prayers during the month, particularly at night, in a practice known as Taraweeh.

Ramadan is also a time of increased charitable giving and community service, with Muslims encouraged to donate to charity and help those in need. It is also a time of increased family and community gatherings, with special meals being prepared for breaking the fast each evening.

The end of Ramadan is marked by a holiday called Eid al-Fitr, which is celebrated with special prayers, family gatherings, and feasting. Overall, Ramadan is a time of spiritual renewal, increased devotion, and community connection for Muslims around the world.


What food is eaten during Ramadan?

The food that is traditionally eaten during Ramadan in Rotterdam can vary depending on cultural and regional traditions. However, there are some common foods and dishes that are often served during the month:

  • Dates: Eating dates to break the fast is a common practice during Ramadan in Rotterdam, as well as in other parts of the Muslim world.
  • Harira: This is a hearty soup made with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and sometimes meat, and is often served as the first course of the evening meal during Ramadan.
  • Sambousek: These are small savory pastries filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, and are often served as appetizers during Ramadan.
  • Kibbeh: These are deep-fried balls made of bulgur wheat, ground meat, and spices.
  • Falafel: These are small, deep-fried balls made of ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices, often served with tahini sauce.
  • Baklava: This is a sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweet syrup.
  • Qatayef: These are small, sweet pastries filled with cheese or nuts and are often served for dessert during Ramadan.

In addition to these traditional foods, many Muslims in Rotterdam also enjoy international cuisine during Ramadan, such as Turkish, Moroccan, and Pakistani dishes. In essence, the food served at Iftar in Rotterdam reflects the diverse cultural and culinary traditions of the Muslim community in the city.


Differences and similarities between Ramadan and Christmas

Christmas and Ramadan are both religious observances that are celebrated by different faith communities around the world, but there are some key similarities and differences between the two:



  • Both Christmas and Ramadan are times of spiritual reflection and renewal for their respective communities.
  • Both holidays involve acts of giving and generosity. Christmas is associated with gift-giving, while Ramadan emphasizes charitable giving and acts of kindness.
  • Both holidays bring families and communities together. In many cultures, Christmas and Ramadan are times for gathering with loved ones and sharing meals.



  • Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, while Ramadan is an Islamic observance that commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
  • Christmas is typically celebrated on December 25th, while Ramadan occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
  • While Christmas is usually celebrated with festive decorations and music, Ramadan is typically observed with more subdued and contemplative practices, such as fasting and prayer.
  • Christmas is a one-day holiday, while Ramadan lasts for a full month.


How to celebrate Ramadan in Rotterdam

Regardless of whether you are Muslim or not, if you are in Rotterdam and want to celebrate Ramadan or engage with the local Muslim community, there are several ways to do so:


Join a local mosque
Rotterdam has several mosques that host special Ramadan events, including communal prayers, iftar (the breaking of the fast), and Taraweeh (special night prayers). Joining a local mosque can be a great way to connect with the Muslim community and participate in Ramadan activities.

Attend an iftar event
Many organizations and community groups in Rotterdam host iftar dinners during Ramadan. These events are often open to the public and provide an opportunity to break the fast with others while learning more about Ramadan and Islam.

Give to charity
Ramadan is a time of giving and charity in Islam. Consider donating to a local charity or volunteering your time to help those in need.

Read the Quran
Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection and renewal. Consider reading the Quran or attending a Quran study group to deepen your understanding of Islam.

Share the spirit of Ramadan:
Finally, consider sharing the spirit of Ramadan with your Muslim friends and neighbours in Rotterdam. Greet people with "Ramadan Kareem" (a blessed Ramadan) or share a special Ramadan treat with someone you know.


Restaurants hosting Iftar dinners

In recent years, Rotterdam has also seen an increase in the number of businesses and organizations that cater to Muslims during Ramadan. Some restaurants offer special iftar menus, and there are even mobile apps that help Muslims in Rotterdam locate the nearest mosque for prayer times and iftar events.

You might need to ask around or keep an eye out for these dinners and events, as they are usually announced without much fanfare.

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