5 interesting facts about the Ramadan Cannon

5 interesting facts about the Ramadan Cannon

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

By Dipti Nair

The Ramadan cannon is an age-old tradition that has now become a quintessential part of Ramadan Festivities. The cannon is fired daily during Ramadan at the time of the Maghrib call to prayer and signals the end of fasting. It is a spectacle that is worth watching at least once. Here we bring you a few interesting facts about the Ramadan Cannon.

 

The tradition of firing the Ramadan Cannon began by accident

Legend has it that during Sultan Khushqadam's reign in 15th century Cairo, he was testing a new cannon gifted by a fellow ruler, coinciding with the sunset on the first day of Ramadan in 865 AH / 1467 AD. As scholars and citizens gathered at the Sultan's palace for iftar, they seized the moment to express gratitude by suggesting the firing of the Iftar cannon. The Sultan, seemingly pleased with the idea, subsequently ordered the cannon to be fired daily at the time of the Maghrib call to prayer throughout Ramadan.

 

The Cannon is loaded with blank cartridges

Originally the cannon shot fired during Ramadan would be a live round and it would be placed at a far-off location until it was time for sunset. Nowadays, the special cannons are loaded with blank cartridges to ensure safety.

The Cannon shot is called Al-Werda

The cannon fired during Ramadan at the Maghrib call of prayer was called as Al-Werda, and it indicates the end of the day of fasting. In the olden days, mothers would send children to climb the roof of houses to hear the first shot implying the time had come for breakfast.

 

The Cannon is supervised by the military

The cannons are fired under the supervision of the Qatari Armed Forces and soldiers in uniform stand in a military arrangement behind the cannon and wait for the order to give the signal to launch the cannon at the right time of the Maghrib call to prayer.

 

The Cannon is fired from six locations

In the old days, the cannon was set in Al Koot Fort, old Salata, Al Rayyan, Al Khalifat and near the Post Office at Corniche. Now the cannon is fired from 6 popular locations in Qatar, Eid Prayer Ground at Msheireb Downtown Doha, Old Doha Port, near Grand Cruise Terminal side, Lusail Boulevard, Eastern Square, Souq Waqif, Western Square, Souq Al Wakrah and South Parking at Katara Cultural Village.

 

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