Every year, Muslims around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. The holiday is well-known for a few things, including fasting, lanterns, and Eid al-Fitr, the three-day religious feast that marks its end. But there’s so much more to know about Ramadan. To help you understand this holiday a little bit better, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about it, from when it starts and ends to why it’s so important.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar. According to tradition, the holy book of the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad during Ramadan. Muslims also believe that during this month the gates to heaven are open and the doors to hell are closed. Muslims use the month of Ramadan to focus on their connection to God, reflect on their lives, and spend quality time with friends and family. Fasting during Ramadan is also one of the five pillars of Islam.
What are the rules of fasting during Ramadan?
During Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. Everyone is expected to participate, although there are some exceptions for those who are ill, pregnant, nursing, or traveling, as well as for young children and the elderly. Drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual activity are all prohibited during the fast as well. In the Islam faith, the fast teaches discipline, sacrifice, mindfulness, reflection, and empathy for those who are less fortunate.
When is Ramadan 2021?
In 2021, Ramadan begins on April 12 and ends on May 12. Ramadan is a floating holiday that shifts by approximately 10 days each year. For example, in 2022, it will begin on April 2; in 2023, it will begin on March 22, and so on. All that is because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar calendar, which is around 10 days shorter than the solar year. That means Ramadan can take place in any season.
When does Ramadan start?
Ramadan begins on Monday, April 12, 2021. Its official start is subject to the sighting of the first crescent of a new moon, and so it begins at different times around the world.
When does Ramadan end?
Ramadan ends on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. On that evening, and for the next three days, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, or the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” Eid al-Fitr is celebrated through prayer, gifts, and a lavish feast.
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