Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.
Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and no water or food can be consumed during that time. Also, they are advised to spend all their free time worshiping. In Mombasa, every evening between 4pm and dusk, food vendors station themselves from Markiti to Bondeni where they sell a variety of coastal snacks at affordable prices. The residents of Mombasa call it Al-Arsa, meaning a variety of food.
The vendors consist of men and women, selling different coastal snacks at different prices. From Viazi vya Karai to sweet Kaimati, all home made. The price ranges from Ksh. 5 to Ksh. 100. You can mix different snacks according to your preference. You will also find vendors selling dates in abundance. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recommended Muslims to break fast during Ramadhan with dates. Another popular coastal tradition is Madafu. After a fasting the whole day, you can break your fast with a cold Madafu. It quenches the thirst and has nutritional values.
This tradition has been passed on from generation to generation because it has helped a lot of people. You can break your fast with different varieties of meals on a budget; travelers are also able to break their fast with home cooked meals. It is also a great way for the vendors to earn a living. The sellers are always friendly, and ready to serve you.