In many countries during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, drummers walk through the streets of towns in the early morning hours to wake people up for suhur, a meal meant to help people get through the fast. Here, such a tradition would probably not be popular.
Suhur, typically eaten at home and consumed before sunrise, has been reinvented by Muslim-Americans, who are creating their own tradition between the night hours and before the morning prayers. They’re leaving home at 2 a.m. to eat breakfast, and then heading home or to their mosques to pray. They’re turning this usually quick and efficient meal into a chance to socialize, throw parties, and create a tradition that kids can look forward to. Friends are meeting at 24-hour diners, college students host suhurs in their dorm rooms, and families are told to arrive promptly at 2 a.m. for potluck suhurs. There have even been suhur birthday parties.