From April 26th to 28th, the annual Toronto Ramadan Market took place in (arguably) the biggest shopping mall in Canada, Square One. There were vendors from all different industries: hijabs, decor, children’s books you name it. For many, this was a dream come true.
Last year, the Ramadan Market was held in a very industrial area of the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, not known to many people except those who had tickets. The fact that this year’s market happened in a major shopping centre not only made it more accessible for attendees, but it put Ramadan on the map. It shone a much-needed spotlight on Muslim vendors with small businesses, and with Eid just around the corner, this event offered easy access and exposure businesses with the perfect Eid gifts for friends and family.
Not Your Typical Souk
The Ramadan Market was not just your typical souk, where people buy items and that’s it. It provided an experience; a new tradition. There was a room for mothers to have peace and quiet while they needed to nurse their children. There was a kids’ play area that parents could leave their children at while they shopped around. A fan-favourite was the workshops. There were Ramadan wreath-making workshops, calligraphy workshops and a piñata workshop; all of them tying in new traditions for Muslims.
Another fan-favourite was Leena’s Hijabs. They are a small business that makes fashionable and chic hijabs for girls ages 3 and up. Many girls ran to their booth and were amazed to see hijabs that were not the typical amira hijabs made for them.
Another hit was Amal’s Apothecary. Her rollers are a must-have for natural remedies. Whether it be for headaches, tummy troubles or children teething, she’s got it all.
Zuhoor Designs‘ booth was simple, yet utterly breathtaking. Their plants were one of the first things you saw as you walked into the market. Zuhoor Designs reminds us simply that Ramadan is not just about decor and gifts, but about adding nature’s beauty to our lives as well.
Let us all reach Ramadan and starting devoting more time to our worship for Him. May events like the Ramadan Market continue to grow and prosper; to have Muslims feel included in Western societies. And have a browse of the brands listed here. You never know; you may find those elusive gifts for your loved ones at one of the few vendors that graced this year’s Ramadan Market.
All images are courtesy of Mariam Nouser.