What's Ramadan? Everything You Wanted to Know
Infographic Transcript of The Beginner's Guide to Ramadan: Everything You've Wanted to Know But Haven't Asked
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, devotion and connecting with family and community.
It's celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when it is believed the Quran was first revealed.
When is Ramadan in 2018?
Quick answer: May 14 through June 14, 2018
The dates change annually, as they are determined by the sighting of a new moon. For 2018, it's expected to begin May 14; however, this date can vary by a few days based on region and how the moon is interpreted.
What Do Observers Do?
Many people practice these traditions during the month-long celebration of Ramadan:
- Pray, visit mosques and read verses of the Quran (some people read the whole Quran from cover to cover during this month)
- Refrain from eating or drinking (even water) daily from surise to sunset
- Wake up early for "Suhur" to eat a power meal before fasting begins (such as fava beans, flatbreads, dates and dumplings)
- Celebrate "Iftar", the breaking of the fast at sundown (by gathering with family, friends and neighbors for large feasts)
- Give money, food and time to charity and people in need
Learn Some Arabic Ramadan Greetings
Ramadan mubarak = Blessed Ramadan
Iftar shahy = Have a good Iftar
Mabarak aleik al shahr = May you get the blessings of the month
Kull aam wa inta fee kheir = May each year pass and you be well
Ramadan kareem = Happy/generous Ramadan
Traditions Around the World
Children in Egypt are given "fanus" (decorative lanters) in the evening for walks with family and friends
Some regions signal the sunrise and sunset by firing a cannon.
In some countries, people drum and sing in the streets to wake people for their final meal before fasting begins.
Do Non-Muslims Celebrate?
Yes! In many regions aroudn the world, Iftar and Suhoor events are set up as a way to bring the community together.
Did you know that Islam is the world's second largest religion and more than 1.6 BILLION people celebrate Ramadan?
Ramadan is celebrated all around the world. Some of the countries with the biggest Muslim populations include:
- Saudi Arabia
When Ramadan Ends, Eid Al-Fitr Begins!
Eid al-Fitr is the festival of the breaking of the fast. It lasts up to three days in some countries and is a time to:
- Pray and volunteer in the community
- Eat special foods
- Buy new clothing
- Decorate homes with lights
- Donate money to people in need and give gifts to family and friends
Popular Gifts to Give During Eid Al-Fitr
- Toys for kids
- Perfume and beauty items
- Jewelry and watches
- Purses and handbags
- TVs, cell phones, gaming systems and other electronics
- New clothing and shoes for the whoel family
Some of the most popular stores to shop and brands to give as gifts include:
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Share Your Favorite Ramadan or Eid Al-Fitr Traditions
Ramadan is celebrated around the world and there are many varied traditions and practices. We'd love to hear about your favorite traditions in the comments below or with us on Facebook!