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Ramadan Fun Facts

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Ramadan drummers awaken people at the start of the fasting day. Baghdad, Iraq

On 18 June 2015, Muslims all over the world began their month-long fast in observance of the holy Islamic holiday of Ramadan.  While many people know that Ramadan means no eating during the day and large parties at night, some may not know these facts about the special holiday.

1) Ramadan is celebrated on different dates each year.

Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is believed to be when the Quran (Muslim holy book) was reveled to the prophet Muhammed. Like other Islamic holidays, dates are determined by the lunar calendar, which is based on phases of the moon. Each year, Islamic scholars gather to spot the moon that will mark the beginning of Ramadan. Some Muslims don’t agree on the same dates so different sects may start and end their fast on different dates.

2) Speaking of dates….

Dates are traditionally consumed before the fast-breaking meal called iftar, as a way to raise the blood sugar after a long day of fasting. In the Middle East, especially during the month of Ramadan, markets are filled to the brim with different variety of dates.

3) Ramadan is a time of charity.

Ramadan is a time when people are especially charitable. Muslims often donate to charity during this time and local charities host public iftars to feed the poor.

4) Not everyone has to fast.

There are some exceptions to who has to fast. People who are traveling, sick, pregnant, elderly, and very young do not have to take part in the fast. Though fasting is difficult, Muslim look forward to the opportunity to abstain from food and drink, bad language, and other physical excesses and enjoy a time of reflection and peace.

5) Television ratings skyrocket.

Ramadan is a time fro family gatherings and nothing brings the family together better than a religious/historical miniseries. Arabic networks produce special Ramadan shows that attract millions of viewers from across the Muslim world.

 

Want to learn more about Ramadan traditions and practices? Check out CultureGrams Holiday sections in World and Kids.

Jenni Boyle

Jenni Boyle

is an Editor at CultureGrams and covers countries in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. She earned a BA in Middle East Studies, with an emphasis in Arabic, from Brigham Young University. She has lived and worked in Amman, Jordan and now lives in Utah. Jenni enjoys cooking Middle Eastern food, reading, and watching the LA Clippers win.
Jenni Boyle

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