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From the capital Beirut to Lebanon's distant villages, observers will notice signs of the approaching month of Ramadan throughout the country.
While Muslim families usually spend the holidays enjoying nature or visiting the beaches as part of a tradition known as the "identification of Ramadan", one of the most prominent traditions heralding the holy month are the "Hello Ramadan" convoys organized by the Social Welfare Institutions (SWI) Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiya, an NGO.
Since July 20th, the Hello Ramadan parades have been visiting Beirut neighbourhoods during the evening and at various times of the day elsewhere in Lebanon.
The parades kick off every evening from the Sarh El Kheirat center and go in various directions. Children from the orphanage carry Ramadan lanterns and wear uniforms symbolising different professions.
The parades are each decorated based on a variety of topics, such as agriculture, fishing, handicrafts, engineering, construction, medicine, health, security, military, industry, arts, culture, and business.
The musaharati Abu Ahmad, along with his wife Umm Ahmad and their children, are leading the parades this year. The musaharati is known for waking people up before suhoor and reminding them the duty of fasting. He also encourages them to perform the duties of Ramadan and follow the principles of love and virtue that it calls for.
This year's slogan is "Charity is a privilege to those who receive" and will be part of the orphanage's processions.
"Because of the belief in the institution and its role caring for orphans and the poor, a slogan is chosen each year in line with the social atmosphere in which we live to spread happiness and optimism," said orphanage director Mohamed Barakat.
Barakat said the orphanage organises a series of activities every year relating to the holy month.
As part of these activities, 16 public squares in Beirut were decorated with a raised white crescent, the symbol of peace and optimism. They also raised banners bearing messages of virtue, optimism and good tidings, as well as calls for zakat, and put up lighted ornaments on electricity poles.
The Social Welfare Institutions were created 94 years ago and operate 56 centres throughout Lebanon. The institutions care for 47,000 citizens and families, including 12,000 orphans and abandoned children.
"The presence of Abu Ahmad and his family during the Ramadan processions is intended to show that everyone in their profession can serve as a guiding light for their community," said Baria Hamad, director of the orphanage's public relations.
"The musaharati is the focus of our processions this year because we consider him someone who does honest work and guides people. We intended him to be in every procession to demonstrate that everyone in their industry is a guide and can excel in any profession and thus realize Lebanon's success," she said.
The Hello Ramadan processions, which were launched by the orphanage in the early 1960s to announce the holy month of Ramadan, aim to "bring joy and delight to the children of the orphanage and the neighbourhoods and areas where the processions pass through", Hamad said.
She said the processions have been well received since their inception, saying that people anticipate them every year.
"Our processions are held every day, and they demonstrate the Lebanese population's determination to advance their society. They promote the ideal of stability and peace during the holy month of Ramadan."