Pune: As the holy month of Ramzan is to begin in couple of days, Pune Camp market in the city is all decked up with varieties of food, clothes and other necessary items needed for the festivities. Among all the food items, sales of several varieties of dates (khajoor) have picked up the most pace in the retail market.
Ramzan is the ninth month of the Hijri lunar calendar, which commemorates the revelation of Koran, Islam’s holy book. During Ramzan, Muslim community fasts from dawn to dusk. Sweet vermicelli, date cakes, biscuits are some of the items prepared during the month. The fast is broken by eating Khajoor, as it is believed that Prophet Mohammed broke his fast by eating khajoor and so the tradition continued.
Vendors at Shivaji Market, Camp, said that dates are sold anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 3,000 per kg in the retail market depending on the quality.
Javed Shaikh, owner of Bharat Foods, said, “We sell almost 7 to 8 types of khajoor during Ramzan with black, juicy, kacha and many more. Black khajoor is mostly preferred by many customers while there are customers who only purchase imported dates. Interestingly, from last few years, Saudi ranks as the highest in production of dates. However, due to high rates, there is less demand for dates from Iran and Oman this year. The price of these dates range anywhere between Rs 120 to Rs 160 this year.”
“After 12 per cent GST has been applicable on imported products, the prices of khajoor are Rs 10 to 20 higher than usual. This year, the availability of khajoor is around 50 per cent higher compared to the previous year.” said Shaikh.
“Every year, I order different varieties of dates from different places. Before iftar, many devotees come to buy packets of these healthy dry fruits. Saudi and Irani dates are loved by many customers,” Salim Baghwan, a vendor in Shivaji market said. He further said, “I have different varieties of khajoor like Saudi, Irani, Ajwa, Medjooj, Medjoul Taiba, Kalmi and Mabroom, which are in huge demand during the Ramzan period. The local ones are sold loose, which are found in various varieties.” It is believed that observing Roza secures an individual a place in heaven and also brings them face to face with Allah, the Almighty.