Beach iftar: The new trend in Kerala's Malabar region

NIT students' iftar party on Kozhikode beach. Photo: Manorama

It's fun to snack away and enjoy the evening breeze on Kerala beaches. The Malabar region is now making use of the relaxing ambience for something new – to break their Ramzan fast. These days, it is common to spot big and small groups of families or friends visiting beaches with mats and food packets. They spread it out in the sand, serve the food, say their prayers and enjoy the meal. Niya Meher, a student in Calicut, says that there were people who used to break their fast on the beach in the past too. “However, more people are coming to the beaches for iftar these days. I think it also has to do with certain reels of beach iftars becoming popular. Watching those, others also feel like experiencing the same,” she says.
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It takes only a few minutes to spread a bedsheet or mat on the sand, arrange all the delicious snacks and drinks and then break the fast. It is the splendid vibe of the beach that excites the people, says many who regularly visit beaches now for Iftar. Most people bring dates, juices, tharikanji, unnakkaya, chattipathiri and kayipola from their homes. Beach iftars become more enjoyable when homemade food is served, say those who do it regularly. Interestingly, this trend which began in the Gulf countries has now become popular here too.

The beaches in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur are crowded with families who bring home–cooked food to break the fast. Besides, students who stay in hostels to come in groups for beach iftars. Meanwhile, many beachside restaurants too have announced special packages during the Ramadan season.

NIT students' beach iftar
At a time when Kozhikode's National Institute of Technology is closed due to the ongoing protests against hostel time restrictions, a group of students from the institution have also been breaking their fasts on Kozhikode beach. Talking to Manorama News, they said, “We wanted to hold an iftar outside of the campus before our academic year finishes and decided to do it on the beach. We didn't think it would be so well-received and successful.”

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