May 3rd, 2019

What is Ramadan?

Don't know much about Ramadan except that it starts in May? With our partners Activ'Travel Morocco, we put together a quick guide of five key things to know about the month-long holiday.

 

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection and prayer for Muslims. Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, observers fast from sunrise to sunset.

What ethnicities and/or countries practice Ramadan?

All Muslims are exhorted to engage in the Ramadan fast whatever ethnicity or country they are originated. As one of the five pillars (or duties) of Islam, fasting during the month of Ramadan is mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims. It is observed principally in Muslim-majority countries in Africa and Asia but also by all other believers around the world.

When is Ramadan?

The Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s cycle and not the sun’s, so the dates vary year to year. By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan is 10 to 12 days earlier every year. In 2019, Ramadan is expected to start on May 7 and last through June 6.

To determine when exactly the holy month will begin, Muslim-majority countries look to local moon sighters.

Why is fasting important during Ramadan

Fasting in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the daily prayer, declaration of faith, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.The fast is intended to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate and bring believers closer to God (Allah, in Arabic). 

How is the end of Ramadan celebrated?

To mark the end of Ramadan, determined by the sighting of the moon on the 29th, a 3-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr brings families and friends together in early morning prayers followed by feasts and fun.