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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays & Observances Arrow to RamadanRamadan

man praying inside mosque in istanbulThe holiest month on the Islamic calendar, Ramadan begins this year on Sunday, May 5 and continues for 30 days until Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

In the modern, fast-paced world, Ramadan is a time for Muslims to put the breaks on -- and to fully develop a kind regard for others.

That means fasting, introspection, and developing compassion for those less fortunate ("O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may acquire self-restraint." (Qur'an 2:183)

Ramadan is never a set date, but based on sightings of the moon, as well as other astronomical calculations. In Canada and the United States, most communities follow the decision of the Islamic Society of North America for the highly-anticipated start of Ramadan.

While charitable works are encouraged, fasting is the more familiar component. Daily fasting begins at dawn (just before sunrise) or Fajr, and ends at sunset or Maghrib.

As the weather heats up, religious leaders and health officials have advised properly keeping body-and-soul together by consuming fruits, carbohydrates, and lots of water when breaking fast this year.


Ramadan lanterns
Fasting ends at sunset, when lanterns are lit in a beloved tradition that is a symbol of Ramadan worldwide.


The End of Ramadan

As you might imagine, the end of Ramadan is a big reason ... to party!

The official end of Ramadan begins with the first sighting of a crescent following a new moon, marking the Festival of Fast-Breaking or Eid-ul-Fitr. In Arabic, Eid  means "festival" while Fitr means "to break the fast". But most modern Muslims simple refer to it as the Eid.

With a long month of fasting completed, work is suspended and children are given the day off from school as families come together to worship and mark the end of Ramadan in a new-found appreciation of life's many bounties. Following morning services, people dress in their finest clothes and tables groan with the weight of holiday dishes and delicacies in celebration.


DID YOU KNOW? Ramadan fun facts

bowl of dried dates for Ramadan
Packed with vitamins, minerals, sugars
and carbs, dates are a favorite food
for breaking fast during Ramadan
.

• Ramadan isn't limited to fasting and prayers. Positive actions might include giving money or volunteering for a good cause throughout the month.

• Not everyone is required to fast during Ramadan. Those exempted include children, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and people who are physically or mentally ill.

• Fasting isn't all bad. In fact, eating less may detox the body, lend you more energy, and make you more alert. Professional athletes even report having more stamina during the month of Ramadan.

• Non-Muslims can wish Muslim friends a happy Ramadan with the traditional saying, "Ramadan Mubarak" or "Have a (happy) blessed Ramadan." To mark Eid, at the end of the month, the saying is "Eid Mubarek."

• The end of fasting may be celebrated worldwide, but on different days. In some countries, Ramadan ends when you can see a new crescent moon with the naked eye. Others use exact astronomical calculations. Different time zones also play a part depending on where Eid is celebrated around the world.


More about Ramadan around the Web:

Just up ahead, discover more about Ramadan traditions and prayers, along with a cache of popular Ramadan recipes.

Also learn more about the sacrifices, strength and joy of Ramadan - a month-long testimony to faith observed by the planet's more than one billion Muslims who each year celebrate Ramadan around the world...

also see in Holidays & Observances -> Eid ul-Adha & The Hajj


More about Ramadan around the Web:


BBC Religion & Ethics - Ramadan - Find an excellent collection of stories, traditions, recipes and observances of Ramadan around the world, plus photo galleries, multimedia guide, and e-cards.

All About Ramadan - Discover information on the lunar calendar, fasting rituals, key people and places,and tips and advice for celebrating.

101 Ramadan.com - A good selection inspirational quotes, and related resources.

 

Ramadan Around the World

Ramadan in America Ramadan in Iran Ramadan in Saudi Arabia
Ramadan in Australia Ramadan in Canada Ramadan in Spain
Ramadan in Egypt Ramadan in Pakistan Ramadan in Turkey

Ramadan Recipes

AllRecipes.com - Ramadan A Ramadan to Remember
Asian & Indian Ramadan Recipes Epicurious - Recipes for Ramadan
Recipes - Memories of Ramadan Food in the Arab World
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