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. In 2019, it is celebrated from May 6th to June 3rd.

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 from?

Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims who believe this is when the Prophet Muhammad first received his revelation of the Quran. The first word was “READ”.

Symbols/Traditions:

Ramadan is a time of self-discipline and self-reflection. Fasting is a form of worship that is mandatory for every practicing Muslim except the young, the elderly, the sick (including pregnant women if they feel sick) and women menstruating (women need to eat, drink and rest during this time for their health). Those who cannot fast must re-make the fast when possible or pay charity to another fasting person to eat.

Practices include:

  • Fasting from 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 fast.
  • Donating to and helping those less fortunate.
  • Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Decree, is believed that this is the night that Muhammad received the first revelation and is typically observed sometime 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.
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