Although the fasting hours often vary in different countries, especially in the Northern Hemisphere due to the difference in seasons and the length of daytime, it is always around 13 hours in Malaysia. During these hours, Malaysian Muslims, who are predominantly Malay, are not allowed to eat in public. Under some state laws, restaurants are even prohibited from serving Malay or Muslim customers.
Ramadan traditionsRamadan is not only the month of prayers and contemplation but is also often associated with a sense of togetherness, where Muslims spend more time with their family and friends. Some of the most popular activities in Malaysia during this holy month include gatherings with relatives, usually during the breaking of the fast, or buka puasa in Malay.
Toward the end of Ramadan, Muslims in Malaysia, especially those who live in big cities, go back and visit their hometown to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr or Hari Raya together with their families. Especially now that travel restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted, Malaysians can resume the tradition of going back to their hometown this year.
It is also the month of Ramadan bazaars, another tradition Muslims in Malaysia are looking forward to. At these bazaars, consumers visit thousands of stalls serving authentic Malaysian dishes right before the time they can break their fast. In 2022, there were more than five thousand Ramadan bazaar stalls in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Month of increased consumptionDuring Ramadan in Malaysia, there is also a surge in social media consumption. Browsing social media was the leading activity Malaysian Muslims were planning to do more during the fasting month. Social media users are eager to share and view content related to Ramadan or Hari Raya. Many Malaysian Muslims cited that one of the main reasons they used social media was to send Ramadan greetings to each other.
Due to the festivities around Ramadan, Muslims in the country often have to spend more during this month. From buying gifts and food for the family gathering to new clothes for Hari Raya, some Muslims plan more than one thousand Malaysian ringgit in expenditure for Ramadan in Malaysia. Nevertheless, the current inflation, which also affects Malaysia, will put a damper on consumers’ purchasing power this year.