RABAT, Morocco — In Morocco's capital, the beach is a favorite place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Waves lap in a steady rhythm, marking time, as hundreds of Moroccans wait for sunset to break their day-long fast.

Stocked with food and drinks, families and friends swarm to the beach to enjoy the Atlantic breeze and, when the fasting is declared over, share in the iftar meal.

Her face drawn from hours without food or water, Rabat resident Nadia Benani said she came with family and friends because staying at home can become tiring.

"This beach takes me down memory lane to my childhood," she said.

Some beachgoers dance and sing Moroccan music while awaiting the call for prayer that announces the end of the day's fast. Exhaustion is barely visible on their faces until they collapse on the ground and check their watches.

Then a cannon booms and a muezzin's voice rings out.

Hands reach for water and dates, an appetizer for the sumptuous dishes that follow. While some people dig into their meals, barely taking time to look up, others pray first.

Reda Fedoul, 20, and his friends built a table from sand to lay out their meals.

"We came here to change the atmosphere ... the day goes much better," he said. "We're here to create happiness."