Ramadan

Ramadan
Learn some facts about Ramadan!

When is it celebrated?

Ramadan is celebrated on different days each year and is based on the Islamic calendar which is a 12-month lunar calendar.  Ramadan is the 9th month of the calendar and has between 29 and 30 days.  It begins on the crescent moon which is usually one day after a new moon.  In 2020, it is celebrated from April 23th to May 23rd. 

Who celebrates it?

It is celebrated by Muslims around the world as one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam.

Where does it originate?

Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims because this is when the Prophet Muhammad first received his revelation of the Quran. 

Symbols/Traditions:

Practices include:

  • Fasting from before sunrise to sunset. The importance of fasting is to practice self-restraint and remember those who have less.  Suhur is the meal before sunrise, and iftar is the meal after sunset.
  • Abstinence from sexual activity, eating, drinking and smoking during sunrise to sunset.
  • Prayer, reading of the Quran, giving charity, performing tarawih prayers in the evening and coming together with friends and family to break the fast.
  • Donating to and helping those less fortunate.
  • Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Power, is the night that Muhammad received the first revelation and is observed during the remaining 10 days of the month. These nights are spent in prayer for salvation and blessings.
  • Eid al-Fitr, aka Festival of the Breaking of the Fasts, marks the completion of Ramadan and is celebrated the day after Ramadan ends.  It is celebrated for three days. During this time, friends and family gather to celebrate, exchange gifts, donate money to the poor, and eat food. Eid al-Fitr is one of the two major celebrations of Islam, the other being Eid al-Adha.

Additional links and resources:

  • Watch children explain what Ramadan is! Video
  • What is Ramadan? Video for kids.
  • Information about Islam for parents. Link
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