Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ramadan: NY Times photo / richard allenby

Ramadan Ritual: Fast Daily, Pray, Head to the Mall

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 7 - The decorations are hanging, the cash registers are clanging, and the air of holiday cheer is everywhere. For a holy month, Ramadan is not what it used to be.

Once an ascetic month of fasting, prayer and reflection on God, Ramadan has gradually taken on the commercial trappings of Christmas and Hanukkah, from the hanging lights that festoon windows to the Ramadan greeting cards and Ramadan sales and advertising campaigns that have become the backbone of commerce for the month.

Marketers and businesses have caught on to the potential of 1.3 billion people at home fasting or breaking their daily fasts and getting back to normal life, a captive audience eager for entertainment and celebration, and more than willing to feast when the sun goes down.

See more at NY Times / Ramadan.

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