Weekender Bahrain, Thursday, July 18 2019

Bahrain’s Festival of Lanterns

admin 15-Jun-2017

Bahrain’s Festival of Lanterns

As Ramadan continues to serenade everything in holiness and brotherly love, we can’t help but admire the streets of Bahrain which have welcomed the festival of lights. Spreading across this magnificent island in a shimmer of halo at major roundabouts, roads and intersections, the aesthetic  Ramadan lights are a part of Bahrain’s contribution to the heritage and tradition, as people are keen to perform the rituals every year to mark the holy month and the season of fasting in expression of love and forwardness for worship.

For hundreds of millions of Muslims around the globe, Ramadan is not only a festival of lights, but it’s a month to rivet their faith and perform benevolent acts.  It has its own special customs and habitual practices. One of the most followed one is the Ramadan Lantern – also known as Fanous in Arabic-is a traditional lantern used by children and even adults during the season so to spread their emotions. Most of them prefer buying them at the beginning of the holy month. Muslims, especially, ornaments their home with colourful lights and decks of gifts to welcome the upcoming holy Eid festivities.  Lighting of lanterns has become the symbol of Ramadan, and kids traditionally hold the lit lanterns and visit their relatives and neighbors, who in turn, greet them with sweets and money.

The streets of Manama are flooded with different varieties of lanterns by various vendors, attracting possible customers. From the traditional metal lantern to the most modern battery operated lanterns, many are readily available in the markets of Manama during this festive season.  “Most of them are imported from Turkey and they are assembled at our shop before display.  Today most of our customers favor electric lanterns over conventional, for which we have a batch of them exhibited”, a lantern shop owner in Manama told Weekender. 

Firing of the canon

The Iftar canons also place an important role in the heritage and tradition of Ramadan. Installed at both Arad fort and Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort, the canon fires every day to mark the end of fasting. Originating from centuries old custom, the canon firing was once used to announce the breaking of fasting when there were no means of amplifying the sound. This much anticipated daily ritual of tradition adds ambience to the holy months, offering visitors and families an astounding experience from the neighboring streets. The firing of cannon is a long-held tradition and continues to withhold the purity of the holy month.