Muslims observe Ramadan worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. The purpose of the holy day is to develop self-discipline, self-control, and a sense of solidarity with those who are less fortunate. This annual fast begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon, and for 2023, that begins at sunset on March 22 and ends April 2.
Ramadan is considered the most sacred month in the Islamic culture and the holy month of fasting. Muslims believe that in 610 A.D. the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad and revealed to him the Quran, the Islamic holy book. Each day during Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and all forms of immoral behavior from dawn to sunset. Fasting gives Muslims an opportunity to practice self-control and cleanse the body and mind. During Ramadan, it helps Muslims with their spiritual devotion as well as in developing a feeling of kinship with other Muslims.
Pre-dawn breakfast, or suhoor, usually occurs around 4:00 a.m. before the first prayer of the day. The evening meal, iftar, can begin once the sunset prayer is finished—normally around 7:30 p.m. Both these meals are generally large meals that are often shared with family and/or friends in one another’s homes throughout the month.
Popular traditions for Ramadan include a 3-day celebration called eid al-fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan. It is a time for families and friends to come together and rejoice with food and drink, and gift each other presents. Kids receive money from their aunts, uncles, and parents. In addition, putting on henna and wearing new cultural clothes are common ways to celebrate. Other common traditions include praying, reciting the Quran, doing charity, and more.
Additional Information on the Origins of Ramadan
Ramadan Recipes to Keep You Satisfied While Fasting
How Different Countries Around the World Celebrate Ramadan
May the spirit of Ramadan stay in our hearts and illuminate our souls from within.