Iftaar, the traditional meal that marks the end of the daily Ramadan fast, has recently been named an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. A joint application from Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan to UNESCO showed how important iftaar is in the Muslim world and led to this approval. Iftaar is a time when Muslims break their fast after the call to prayer at sunset during Ramadan. It is known for bringing people together, being kind, and making friends.
In some Muslim countries, iftaar is done in different ways, but eating a date to break the fast is a popular practice. The meals and baked goods made for iftaar are very different from one country to the next. This shows how diverse Islamic societies are. This range shows how the iftaar meal is different in different parts of the world in terms of the food that is served.
UNESCO stressed that families play a big part in passing on the tradition of iftaar, with kids and teens often helping to make traditional meals. Not only does this help keep the food customs alive, but it also builds stronger bonds between generations and keeps the culture alive. UNESCO’s listing of iftaar as an intangible cultural heritage shows how important it is as a social and cultural activity with deep roots in the Islamic faith and community life.