The Ramadan Cannon

Every year in the month of Ramadan Muslims celebrate the descent of the Koran from heaven to earth by fasting from dawn until sunset each day. Today a precise timetable dictates exactly at what hour to break the fast, but before the invention of clocks the Muslims used a cannon. Salvoes were fired to inform the faithful they could start eating and drinking.

This cannon still exists in Jerusalem. Notwithstanding modern clocks, a Muslim family has been seeing to the task of firing it generation after generation. The cannon is situated in a Muslim cemetery called A-Sahara, not far from Damascus Gate and near General Gordon's Calvary (see in this site).

The English built the Cannon in 1918 and it was donated by the Jordan Royal Family in 1945. Before that time, an old Turkish cannon was used during Ramadan: you can now see it in the museum near the El Aksa Mosque. Should you find yourself in Jerusalem during Ramadan, go and have a look; it is quite a suggestive scene: the cannon being fired in the midst of hundreds of old tombs and in the background, the chanting of the call to prayer by the Muezzins.