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Amman neighbourhoods light up to welcome Ramadan

By Muath Freij - Jun 29,2014 - Last updated at Jun 29,2014

AMMAN –– Hussam Abu Rumman and his wife were looking intently at the Ramadan decorations on display at a tent in Amman, examining certain pieces more closely before deciding on which item they wanted.

For Abu Rumman, buying an illuminated crescent and a lantern for Ramadan has been a decade-long tradition.

“Buying these items is a way to celebrate the holy month,” he said. “I like to buy the crescent and lanterns because they are symbolic of Ramadan.”

Marking the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, houses and shops around Jordan decorate their outer walls and windows with lights and decorations inspired by the fasting month.

“People believe if they want to feel the Ramadan atmosphere, they have to buy these decorations,” said Abu Ashraf, who has been selling these items since 2002.

Several decorations are on display at his tent, including illuminated crescents, lanterns and Arabic phrases reading “Ramadan Kareem”.  

Vendors in Amman began showcasing their goods several days ahead of the holy month, setting up their tents in several locations such as Abdullah Ghosheh Street and near the 7th Circle area. 

Nidal Wahbeh, one of the vendors, said demand for these decorations has been soaring during the past 10 days.  

Prices range between JD10 and JD20, according to Wahbeh. 

Abu Ashraf said traders mainly import these items from China and Egypt and supply tent owners, who sell them to public. 

“We get our goods from several suppliers. The items we receive are worth at least JD20,000, but it does not mean that we sell them all,” he noted.  

“Around 30 tents are located in the capital,” Abu Ashraf said, adding that prices have been reduced due to the competition between vendors. 

“There are seven people working at my tent and they hardly can deal with the growing number customers.”

Noting that most tents are open for 24 hours a day, he explained that tent owners work during the first 10 days of Ramadan because sales drop after that.  

“We receive people from the Gulf who only come to Jordan to buy these decorations because they do not find them in their countries,” Abu Ashraf added.  

Saad Abu Hammad, who was looking for decorations with his family, said buying these items has become a must in Ramadan. 

“It also brings joy to children. I like to buy these decorations one day before Ramadan because I want to set them up to coincide with the beginning of the holy month.”

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