What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a holy month celebrated by Muslims around the world.
It is believed to be the month in which the Qur’an (the religious text of Islam) was revealed to the prophet Muhammed.
When is Ramadan Celebrated?
Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when the first sliver of the crescent moon appears.
The Islamic calendar is lunar, not solar, so Ramadan begins on a different date each year.
April 24, 2020
April 13, 2021
April 2, 2022
March 23, 2023
March 11, 2024
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How is Ramadan celebrated?
Ramadan is a quiet, reflective time of worship, prayer, helping others, and spending time with loved ones.
“Ramadan Mubarek” and “Ramadan Kareem” are common greetings during the holy month and mean “Have a Blessed or Generous Ramadan.”
Muslims that are 12 or older fast during Ramadan, not eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset. Fasting reminds Muslims to appreciate their blessings and to help those in need.
Families get up for an early meal before the sun rises called suhoor, and the fast is broken with an evening meal after the sun sets called iftar.
The types of foods vary by region but usually contain fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, cheeses, and sweets. Eating and drinking can continue until the next day’s suhoor.
See how the observance of iftar varies around the world, including
- a man in Cairo, Egypt preparing kunafeh, a pastry which is incorporated into Arabic sweets and enjoyed in the evening after the Ramadan fast is broken
- a vendor in Khartoum, Sudan displaying dates for sale during the first day of Ramadan
- a Pakistani woman preparing tea for her family members before they begin their fast in Sukkur, Pakistan
Sadaqah, or good deeds, are important parts of the holy month. Donating food, clothing, money, and time, picking up trash, helping the elderly, or planting a tree are just some of the ways to show kindness and generosity.
The new moon marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the “Festival of Fast-Breaking,” Eid al-Fitr, begins.
The three-day celebration includes prayers, exchanging cards and gifts, and feasting with friends and family. A common greeting is “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Have a blessed Eid.”
Kids Explain Ramadan
Learn the meaning and traditions of the holy month from kids. How does Ramadan compare to holidays you celebrate?
Featured Book: Let’s Celebrate Ramadan & Eid!
Join Maya, Neel, and their pet squirrel, Chintu on their trip to New Delhi, India to celebrate Ramadan and Eid with their Muslim friends.
Find out why (and how) Muslims fast for thirty days, learn new vocabulary, and discuss the importance of understanding and appreciating how people around the world celebrate holidays.
More Children’s Books About Ramadan
- My First Ramadan A young boy explains how he and his family celebrate Ramadan.
- Ramadan Moon A beautifully written and illustrated story to share the excitement of the holy month as seen from a child’s perspective.
- Zachariah’s Perfect Day A young Muslim boy shares his first fasting day. Read our book review here.
- Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid al Fitr Rashad shares how he celebrates Ramadan and Eid.
- Lailah’s Lunchbox A young Muslim girl must figure out what to do when she fears her classmates at her new American school won’t understand when she is not eating in the lunchroom with them.
Additional Ramadan Resources
- Browse 99 Creative Ramadan Projects from A Crafty Arab
- Ramadan – 30 Days of Activities Find activities for the whole month: lapbooks, notebooks, workbooks, activity packs, arts & crafts, journals, colouring activities, and articles.
- Visit the Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest board for recipes, games, crafts, activities, books, and more related to Ramadan!
- Ideal for younger children, the Ramadan Coloring & Activity Book teaches the basic principles of Ramadan through coloring pages and activities such as a maze and word search. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated towards the children of Syria.