Celebrating Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur with Kids: A Family Guide

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Eid Al Fitr in Kuala Lumpur

Are you wondering if spending time in a Muslim country during Ramadan is a good idea? Well, wonder no more. From experience, we can tell you it’s a wonderful time, and in this blog post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur, including Ramadan travel tips. 

What Exactly is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the holy month of Islam celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and a time for fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. For non-Muslims who don’t celebrate this religious occasion, it may seem just a typical month. But for devout Muslims, Ramadan is a special tradition as it is the time to become more spiritually involved and devoted to Allah.

During this time, Muslim men and women fast from dawn until sunset, and Ramadan bazaars fill the streets of Kuala Lumpur. During the iftar dinner, people gather together to break the fast.

Ramadan is a beautiful tradition in Islamic culture. Learning about the practices and understanding their significance can foster a deeper appreciation of the values and culture of Islam. Even as a non-Muslim, understanding the practices and learning the importance of Ramadan to the Muslim community can lead to a more inclusive environment and build empathy for those observing the tradition.

For families, participating in Ramadan-related traditions together can strengthen family bonds and create wonderful shared experiences. Ramadan can be a great way to ask questions and encourage open conversations about Islam’s different cultures and religious practices. It can also strengthen family values such as compassion and generosity through acts of charity towards the community.

Ultimately, understanding Ramadan is not just about learning about a specific religious practice, but about fostering cultural awareness, respect, and a sense of community. This learning journey can enrich families of all backgrounds and create a more inclusive and understanding world.

Read on to learn everything about celebrating Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur.

Table of Contents

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Let’s Start With Some Ramadan FAQs

When is Ramadan in 2025?

In 2025, the Holy month of Ramadan starts in the evening of Friday, February 28 and ends on Sunday, March 30.

When is Ramadan in 2026?

In 2026, the Holy month of Ramadan starts in the evening of Wednesday, February 18 and ends on Thurday, March 19.

When is Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Kuala Lumpur in 2024?

Meanwhile, the Hari Raya Aidilfitri, or the Festival of Breaking Fast, marks the end of Ramadan, which falls on Wednesday, April 10th, and is a public holiday in Malaysia.

What is Eid al-Fitr, and how is it celebrated at the end of Ramadan?

Eid al-Fitr is also known as “Festival of Breaking the Fast” and is celebrated by families and friends gathering and sharing a feast, exchanging gifts and greetings of “Eid Mubarak”, and participating in cultural performances and activities.

What are the daily fasting hours, and how do they change throughout Ramadan?

The daily fasting hours start at dawn and end at sunset. They may only change throughout Ramadan if the sun sets a little later or earlier for each day.

Click here for the 2024 Ramadan fasting times.

Will restaurants and cafes be open during the day in Ramadan?

Yes, most restaurants and cafes will still be open during Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur. Only Muslim-owned restaurants and food outlets will be closed during the day, but there are still plenty of available places to eat.

How do public transportation schedules change during Ramadan?

Some public transportation services may operate for shorter hours during Ramadan, especially during the day when people are fasting. While frequency of operation may increase more during iftar and suhoor to ease the demand of public transport, especially for those fasting.

Visit the RapidKL website for the latest updates on public transport operating hours during Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur.

Are there any restrictions on eating and drinking in public during fasting hours?

Overall, you should avoid eating and drinking openly in public during fasting hours to show respect regardless of the degree of restrictions.

Are there specific activities for kids during Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur?

Yes, there are plenty of activities for kids during Ramadan including visiting Ramadan bazaars, joining Ramadan cooking workshops for kids, watching cultural performances, and enjoying Iftar meals with the family.

Keep an eye on our What’s On, where we list events in Kuala Lumpur.

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Are there any specific prayers or rituals performed during Ramadan?

Yes, these specific prayers or rituals performed during Ramadan are the five daily prayers, Tarawih prayer, Tahajjud prayer, Suhoor, Iftar, Zakat, Dua, reciting Quran, seeking forgiveness, and acts of charity.

Can non-Muslims participate in iftar or other Ramadan celebrations?

Yes, non-Muslims are allowed to participate in iftar and other Ramadan-related activities.

What should I wear when visiting mosques or attending Ramadan events?

Dress respectfully and modestly by covering the shoulders and knees.

How does Ramadan affect the opening hours of shops and attractions?

Ramadan may cause some shops and attractions to have shorter daytime hours and open for longer hours at night.

Are there any special foods or drinks that are traditionally consumed during Ramadan?

The traditional food and drinks consumed during Ramadan are dates, lentil soup, chicken biryani, vegetable stews, Jallab, and carob juice.

How can I be respectful of Ramadan customs while traveling in a Muslim-majority country?

By familiarizing yourself with the local customs and etiquettes during Ramadan and observing them.

Kuala lumpur city urban night view — Photo by yuliang11

Ramadan: A Spiritual Journey in Finding Meaning Through Fasting, Worship, and Community

What is Fasting, and Why is it Observed?

During Ramadan month, Muslims practice fasting from sunrise to sunset. This act involves abstaining from eating and drinking (even water) during daylight hours. Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam; through this practice, they’re reminded to be grateful for the blessings they’ve been given by God.

By experiencing the hunger and thirst from fasting, people also develop empathy for the less fortunate. It also helps form spiritual discipline and self-reflection, fostering a deeper awareness of their habits and desires. With this awareness comes a clearer understanding of oneself and their relationship with Allah.

Buka Puasa: The Importance of Breaking the Fast

After almost a full day of fasting, Muslim friends break the fast during sundown. Breaking the fast, also called iftar or buka puasa, involves a social gathering of family and friends who feast together. Buka puasa is a form of celebration after a successful day of fasting and fulfilling a religious obligation. It symbolizes spiritual renewal, a time for new beginnings, reflection, and a recommitment to the right way of living.

Breaking the fast is an important tradition for families. It is a special moment to reconnect and form stronger bonds with their loved ones. By praying, sharing meals, and celebrating together, berbuka puasa becomes a momentous occasion for families to come together. During this time, families may extend their compassion and generosity through charitable acts like donating to the less fortunate or sharing food with those in need.

Quan's Bazar Ramadan Cina Muslim - Photo by Four Points by Sheraton Chinatown

The Three Phases of Ramadan: Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation

Ramadan is split into three stages, also known as the Ashras of Ramadan, each lasting 10 days.

The first Ashra of Ramadan is mercy. It is said that during the first ten days of Ramadan, Muslims must seek the mercy of the Almighty Allah.

The dua for the first Ashra is, “My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the best of those who show mercy.” (Quran 23:118)

For the second ten days following the beginning of Ramadan, you must ask Allah for the forgiveness of your sins.

The dua for the second Ashra is, “I ask forgiveness of my sins from Allah who is my Lord, and I turn towards Him.”

The last Ashra of Ramadan is about asking for salvation from the fires of Hell. It is also in the last ten days of Ramadan when the celebration of Laylat al-Qadr happens, specifically on the evening of April 6th, 2024. Laylat al-Qadr, Night of Power in Arabic, is a peaceful celebration of the first night Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Quran.

The dua for the third Ashra is, “O Allah! Save me from the fire.”

There are many ways to observe the Ashras of Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur. For example, during the first Ashra of Ramadan, you can show your mercy by giving charity. Donate to charitable causes or you can also practice mercy in small ways, like being kind and helpful to those around you. Next is to practice forgiveness during the second Ashra of Ramadan.

Learn to forgive those who have wronged you just as Allah has forgiven you for your wrongdoings. Let go of grudges, forgive yourself, and believe Allah will forgive you. On the last ten days of Ramadan, mosques in Kuala Lumpur may offer Quran recitation sessions and be kept open for late-night prayers.

Families may also start preparing for Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, by buying gifts and shopping for new clothes. Of course, family gatherings and celebrations with delicious feasts are to be expected as the end of Ramadan approaches.

Experiencing Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur as a Family

Celebrating Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur can sound intimidating, especially if you’re traveling to Kuala Lumpur for the first time. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we’ve put these tips and guidelines together for celebrating Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur as a family to make your experience memorable and seamless.

Tips for Families During Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur

  • Adjust daily routines and schedules – Be prepared for potential changes in public transportation schedules and business hours during Ramadan. Check if the tourist attractions you plan to visit have posted a different schedule during Ramadan.

  • Engage kids in the spirit of the month – If your kid is of age to join in Ramadan, encourage them to engage in the festivities. Talk to them about fasting and its meaning in Islam. Let them participate in the preparation of iftar meals or visit Ramadan bazaars and cultural events together.

  • Join in with the locals for Buka Puasa – We always loved joining our friends for Buka Puasa during Ramadan. Most days, we would just enjoy some local favourites in the office or at someone’s house. However, we also enjoyed many Ramadan Buffets in restaurants – which is a great idea if you’re keen on experiencing the Breakfasting celebration. 
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Can You Eat in Public During Ramadan? Navigating Daytime Activities with Kids

In Muslim-majority communities like Kuala Lumpur, there are certain local customs and etiquette to follow during Ramadan. These include:

  • Avoid eating or drinking in public places during daylight hours. This is a sign of respect for those who are fasting. If you need to eat or drink, do so discreetly in private spaces.

  • No smoking in public as a sign of respect.

  • Be mindful of your language. Avoid using phrases related to food or drink in casual conversation.

  • Offer apologies if you accidentally eat or drink in front of someone fasting.

  • Dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees, both men and women. Decent dress codes apply, especially when visiting mosques or other religious spaces. And honestly, this is not limited to the Ramadan period; you should always dress appropriately when visiting religious places, no matter when or where. 

  • Avoid public displays of affection such as kissing or holding hands.

  • Speak in a lower tone of voice, especially in mosques and other religious areas.

  • Avoid loud music or boisterous behavior.

  • Be patient and understanding, as fasting makes people feel more tired or irritable.

  • Respect prayer times. Be aware of prayer times and avoid disturbing individuals or businesses during their prayers.

Note – to us, most of the above mentioned tips are simply common practice, whether it’s Ramadan or not. 

Breaking the Fast: Family-Friendly Iftar Ideas

It’s important to stay healthy during Ramadan by eating well-balanced foods with lean protein, fruits, and veggies. Hydration is also important, so people tend to drink plenty of water during Suhoor, the meal before dawn, or during iftar. They also incorporate complex carbs, protein, healthy fats, and fiber in their diet, and ideally they avoid processed or fast foods. 

Below are some popular dishes to break the fast. You’ll probably find most of them on the Ramadan Buffets, but these are also easy-to-prepare and healthy iftar meals for buka puasa at home:

  • Dates with peanut butter dip
  • Chicken and Nasi Briyani
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Healthy Quinoa Salad
  • Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal
  • Mediterranean Egg Wrap
  • Fruits (watermelon, pineapple, apples, oranges, strawberries, grapes, etc.)
  • Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad
  • Traditional Samosa
  • Garlic Cheese Naan
  • Dates Kheer
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you don’t have time to prepare, no sweat! There are restaurants in Kuala Lumpur that offer Ramadan buffets featuring a wide variety of foods. We have an upcoming blog post about the top Ramadan Buffets in KL, so stay tuned!

Family Activities During Ramadan

Visiting Ramadan Bazaars: A Feast for the Senses

Ramadan bazaars are a great food trip experience for families trying out traditional Malay dishes and international delights. From the famous nasi lemak and bubur lambuk, a traditional dish served during Ramadan, to Halal dim sums and the irresistible dessert tepung pelita, Ramadan bazaars offer an explosion of flavors to try.

The Bukit Bintang Ramadan Bazaar is definitely one of the best places to enjoy delicious food in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Just expect it to be crowded, especially after sunset, for obvious reasons. 

Discover a vibrant Ramadhan Bazaar in Kuala Lumpur filled with tents and stalls.

Ramadan Arts and Crafts: Engaging Activities for Kids

Let your kids express their understanding of Ramadan by creating Ramadan-themed crafts! This month can be a great opportunity for kids to practice their creativity and make Ramadan more exciting.

Some examples of Ramadan arts and crafts are:

  1. Ramadan coloring sheets – Print our free Ramadan printable coloring book and let your kids color the pages away.

  2. Ramadan Gift Boxes – Decorate a gift box with Muslim holiday symbols like a crescent moon and star or an outline of a mosque. Use the gift box to hold little gifts or treats they can give their loved ones.

  3. Paper decorations – Paper decorations with Ramadan-themed designs are a simple way to show kids’ appreciation and excitement for the holy month.

  4. I Spy Ramadan Activity – Another free printable Ramadan activity for kids. This Ramadan I Spy Activity can help develop kids’ problem-solving skills, focus, and imagination.

  5. DIY Ramadan Lantern – Get crafty and create your own Ramadan Lantern made entirely of paper. You can follow this easy DIY Ramadan Paper Lantern tutorial.

Celebrating Eid in Kuala Lumpur

Hari Raya Aidilfitri: The End of the Fasting Month

Hari Raya Aidilfitri, also known as Eid al-Fitr or Hari Raya Puasa, means the end of fasting or Ramadan. It’s one of the most anticipated days in Ramadan as people return to their hometowns to celebrate with their families.

The celebration of Hari Raya begins at the mosque, where Muslims pray and give gratitude for the blessings they received. Then, Muslims seek forgiveness from their elders, family, or friends for any sins they’ve committed the past year. Family and friends exchange greetings, and young ones come to greet their elders with “Selamat Hari Raya!” which translates to “Happy Hari Raya!”

Traditional Malay Wear: Dressing Up for the Occasion

Dressing in traditional Malay attire is necessary for respecting the occasion and expressing joy at completing the fast. If you have children celebrating Ramadan for the first time, it’s important to instill the significance of the attire for Muslims. The traditional attire worn during Hari Raya Aidilfitri symbolizes purity, modesty, and renewal.

For men, the traditional attire is the Baju Melayu (a traditional men’s gown), paired with a samping (a traditional Malay skirt) and a songkok, (a traditional Malay headgear).

Meanwhile, women wear baju kurung (a two-piece ensemble of a long-sleeved top and long skirt), baju kebaya (a blouse-dress combination), or jubah (a long one-piece dress). For headwear, a selendang or traditional scarf to complete the outfit.

Muslim family greeting, Hari Raya Eid Al-Fitr, Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur- photo byszefei

Foods to Try During Hari Raya: A Culinary Adventure for Families

Muslims host an open house, inviting friends and neighbors (even non-Muslims) to join the celebration. A Hari Raya feast includes many delectable dishes such as ketupat (rice cakes), beef rendang (braised meat cooked in spices), satay (skewered meat), sayur lodeh (coconut stew made with a variety of vegetables), dodol (sweet toffee-like dessert), kuih-muih (small-sized desserts), and more.

A Hari Raya celebration is incomplete without a grand feast like this, so if you’ve been invited to join in, don’t miss the opportunity!

Selera Kampungku - Ramadan Food Kuala Lumpur by Crowne Plaza KL

Tips for Traveling in Kuala Lumpur During Ramadan

Here are helpful tips to help you in your trip to Kuala Lumpur during Ramadan:

  • Plan your visits – Choose the best time to visit attractions and enjoy quieter periods. Tourist attractions might have slightly shorter operating hours. You can also expect mosques and religious sites to have higher traffic, especially during peak hours (prayer times). Lastly, expect a surge in traffic during nighttime because of iftar timings when people break the fast and may go out to eat with their families.

  • Be respectful – Observe the following customs and etiquette listed above.

  • Finding a place to eat – Muslim-owned restaurants will likely be closed during the holy Islamic month. If you’re staying in Kuala Lumpur, look for hotels or accommodations near restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines.

  • Participate in cultural events and activities – Enjoy cultural events and bazaars throughout the city during Ramadan.

  • Stay hydrated – If you’re fasting, drink eight to 12 cups of lukewarm water between iftar and suhoor.

  • Maintain energy levels – To maintain your energy levels while fasting, eat nutritionally balanced meals, avoid sugar and processed foods, minimize caffeine, and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.

Final Thoughts on Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur

Experiencing Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur as a family is a unique cultural experience that provides great learning opportunities. Learning the importance of Ramadan and understanding the traditions and customs of this holy occasion helps people develop cultural awareness and immerse themselves in Islamic culture.

Ramadan is a meaningful tradition that continues to surpass generations and bring families closer together and to Allah.

By celebrating Ramadan, you also embrace the festive spirit and cultural diversity that envelops Kuala Lumpur. Through prayer, worship, greetings, and eating, we build lasting memories as a family and foster empathy and compassion for children.

Ramadan Mubarak to everyone who celebrates, and don’t forget to claim your free copy of our Ramadan coloring book (by clicking here or the image below).

Ramadan Coloring Book for Kids

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Experience Ramadan Magic in Kuala Lumpur with Kids!

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About Marlieke Kemp-Janssen:

Marlieke is the mom of a four-year-old girl and, together with daddy, they love living in and exploring Kuala Lumpur. As well as being the founder of Kuala Lumpur with Kids, Marlieke is a digital marketing consultant who has helped small businesses grow through her company Aureum Hospitality Advisers.

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