This evening marks the start of Ramadan, the most holy month in the Muslim calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset – that means eating nothing while it is daylight. There are some people who don’t have to fast such as children, pregnant women, the sick, the elderly and travellers – plus, if you have exams or are a sports star competing (like England cricketer Moeen Ali) you can defer your fast to another time.
The month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends. At the end of the fast, special meals are served and families and friends get together to break the fast. Many Muslims also go to the mosque to pray. The festival to celebrate the end of Ramadan, and fasting, is called Eid al-Fitr, which will take place on Sunday 25th June.
Ramadan, historically, is because the Qur’an, the holy book followed by Muslims, was first revealed during the month.This summer Muslims in the UK are facing the a very long Ramadan as the holy month coincides with the summer solstice, meaning long days of fasting. At this time of year daylight can last about 16 to 19 hours, depending on your UK location.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Because Islam uses the lunar calendar (based on the cycles of the moon), the month of Ramadan comes around 11 days earlier each year, so it isn’t a fixed date in the Western/solar calendar.
To all of those observing the holy month, both here in Nottingham and across the word, Ramadan Mubarak!
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