World Celebrations: Ramadan
Ramadan is a holy month celebrated by Muslims around the world. It 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. The holy month is believed to be the month in which the Qur’an (the religious text of Islam) was revealed to the prophet Muhammed.
Ramadan is a quiet, reflective time of worship, prayer, helping others, and spending time with loved ones. Muslims that are 12 or older fast during Ramadan, not eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset. 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. It literally means “breakfast” and traditionally begins with dates, or other sugary sweets, and water. After prayer, comes a full meal with traditional foods. See how the observance of iftar varies around the world.
The new moon marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the “festival of breaking the fast,” 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.”
- My First Ramadan A young boy explains how he and his family celebrate Ramadan.
- Ramadan Moon A beautifully written and illustrated 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.
RAMADAN – 30 Days of Activities Lots of resources and activities!