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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays & Observances Arrow to RamadanRamadan 2023

man praying inside mosque in istanbulThe holiest month on the Islamic calendar, Ramadan begins this year on the evening of Wednesday, March 22, 2023 and ends on Thursday, April 20, 2023 lasting for 30 days.

All about Ramadan

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.

As quoted in the Koran, "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)

Observing Ramadan

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 of Ramadan. Daily fasting begins at dawn (just before sunrise) or Fajr, and ends at sunset or Maghrib. But not everyone is required to fast during Ramadan. Those exempted include children, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and those who suffer from ill health.

As temperatures rise during the day, religious leaders and health officials advise properly keeping body-and-soul together by consuming fruits, carbohydrates, and lots of water when breaking fast.

Ramadan lanterns
At sunset, lanterns are lit as a beloved symbol of hope during Ramadan observances 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.

• 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.


Ramadan Around the World

Ramadan in America Ramadan in Iran Ramadan in Saudi Arabia
Ramadan in Egypt Ramadan in Pakistan Ramadan in Turkey

Ramadan Recipes - Ramadan Ramadan Recipes - BBC GoodFood
Asian & Indian Ramadan Recipes Epicurious - Recipes for Ramadan
Recipes - Memories of Ramadan Food in the Arab World

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