In Lakemba in Sydney’s southwest, night markets with aromatic foods, lively crowds and a general hubbub of activity until 2am are held throughout Ramadan — the Islamic holy month.
With fasting occurring from dawn till dusk throughout the month, Lakemba’s Haldon Street turns into a festive feast as soon as the sun sets. It’s melting pot of Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Burmese, Malaysian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indonesian cuisines offered for iftar — the evening meal ending the daily Ramadan fast.
Walk through and you’ll find everything from camel burgers, shawarma and kaak (a Pakistani street bread) to Syrian ice cream, knafeh (a sweet cheese pastry) and Lebanese coffee.
the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when those who adhere to the faith don’t let anything pass their lips from sun-up to sun-down. Lakemba, in south-west Sydney, is one of the few places in Australia where Muslims constitute more than half of the population. During the days of Ramadan, its streets are fairly quiet. But at night it springs to life, with thousands of people heading to Haldon Street and Railway Parade for a Ramadan feast.
More than 30,000 people visit this street party on Friday and Saturday nights, and 10,000 during the week. People eat from sunset until 3am, with Muslims from every part of the world – Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Syria and more – cooking up their own iftar (fast-breaking meal). But it’s not just people of Muslim faith who visit. Everyone’s welcome.
Running from Sunday, May 5 through Wednesday, June 5, the Lakemba Ramadan Night Markets are a community-wide celebration open to all, fasting or not, with festivities running well into the evening and ending with suhoor — the pre-dawn meal before daily fasting resumes.
Lakemba’s night markets run from around 5.00pm till 2am. You’ll find them at the station end of Haldon Street.
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