The long-standing ritual of Ramadan Cannons firing across different locations by Dubai Police to usher in the daily Iftars
By Team FoodeMag: Visitors and residents can witness the long-standing Ramadan tradition of firing of the cannon in the UAE – across five locations in Dubai, one in Abu Dhabi and eleven locations across Sharjah. We were present yesterday to witness the ritual on the first day of Ramadan, at Fort Island in Madinat Jumeirah. As per tradition, the start of Ramadan is marked with two cannon firings. During the holy month of Ramadan, single shots are fired daily just before the Maghrib prayers that marks the breaking of the fast and beginning of Iftar. Cannons are fired when the moon is sighted for Eid as well and at the starting of Eid.
Witnessing the actual firing of an iconic Ramadan Cannon
An earth-shattering 170 decibels emanating from a single firing from a British-made 25 PDR MK1L piece artillery, cannot be missed at any cost. But nothing prepared me for the piercing sound of the firing. Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Khalifa Suwaidi from Dubai Police shared his pride in the association of his department with this age-old tradition (don’t miss the video). Apart from witnessing a Ramadan tradition on the every first day of Ramadan, I also had my fill of my favourite Middle Eastern drinks. After Iftar was announced by the cannon firing, the staff of Madinat Jumeirah poured out traditional drinks typically served during Iftar. Some of my favourites being the Qamardeen or dried apricot juice, Jallab ~ date drink with grape molasses and rose water served on crushed ice and topped with pine nuts and raisins and Karkadeh ~ a sweet infusion made from hibiscus flower. While Madinat Jumeirah had organised valet parking for visitors wanting to experience the tradition, parking isn’t an issue elsewhere too. So please, try to experience something this Ramadan that is culturally weaved into the region we live in. Enjoy the video!
Historical tradition of Ramadan Cannons
Known as “midfa al iftar”, the tradition of Ramadan cannon dates back to 200 years ago in Egypt. Even today, the cannon is fired at sunset in many Arab nations, to observe the breaking of fast. In Dubai, the practice of Ramadan cannon was first introduced in the 1960s. Dubai Police was entrusted with this operation, a role that it plays even today.
Where can you see Ramadan Cannons?
There are six cannons – one functions as a standby while five others are placed at five different locations across Dubai. These locations are Fort Island in Madinat Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, Eid prayer grounds in Al Mankhool and Al Baraha, and Dubai City Walk. The authorities encourage visitors to join them during the firing so that on can have an immersive experience of Ramadan in Dubai.
For more information, visit www.dubaipolice.gov.ae
Disclaimer: All images and videos have been taken by team FoodeMag.