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Lantern - Fanous - of Ramadan!

Lantern - Fanous - of Ramadan!

How did the lantern turned to be a symbol of Ramadan?

As Ramadan knocks on the door, Muslim prepare for the month of fasting, and Islamic cities worldwide light up and streets decorated with beautiful colorful lanterns – known in Arabic as Fanous, creating a beautiful and magical atmosphere. 

The Fanous has become a worldwide symbol that represents Ramadan.

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But why the colorful lanterns? What do they signify for the holy month of Ramadan?

The concept of the lanterns originated in ancient Egypt. Stories state that in 358 AH during the Fatimid dynasty, when Caliphate Al-Muʿizz li-Dīn Allah arrived the first day of Ramadan, the people and children of Egypt went outside to greet him holding their lanterns."

Before that, lanterns were just used to walk around at night, and to walk to the mosque. But when the Caliph came, the whole community went to welcome him with their lanterns. Since then it became that the month of Ramadan is more beautiful with lit up lanterns everywhere.

 There are many differing views behind the origins of the lantern.

In modern day, with the availability of electricity and technology, lanterns are not really needed as a source of light. Instead, the Fanous is used as decoration for popular Ramadan tents, gatherings, and city streets to create a more festive environment that is in tune with the holy month.

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So, are Ramadan lanterns a cultural or religious symbol? Symbols depicting religious holidays can sometimes be mistaken as religious rather than cultural or traditional. 

Meanwhile generations of Muslim will continue to hold on to the traditions and light up their Fanous welcoming the holy month of Ramadan.

 

 

Ramadan Kareem


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