What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on the cycles of the Moon. The Ramadan dates are different every year as the Islamic calendar is based on the Moon. This year Ramadan began on March 22 and will end on April 21.
During Ramadan, people who follow Islam won’t eat or drink between dawn and sunset. This is called fasting. They eat one meat before sunrise, which is known as ‘Sahoor’, which means “of the dawn”. They also have another meal right after sunset known as ‘Iftar’ which means “break of the fast”. They also read the Qur’an and pray during the entire month.
Origin of Ramadan
Ramadan is the month of remembrance and celebration of when the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) was revealed to Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, in A.D. 610. Muslims believe that the Prophet of Muhammad is the last Prophet, who received the teachings of Allah and who spread the Islamic faith after the Qur’an (believed to be the direct word of Allah) was revealed to him.
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Ramadan officially ends with the first glimpse of the new Moon. The festival of “Eid al-Fitr” or the “Feast of Fast-Breaking” is observed to mark the end of the month of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated to end fasting and also to thank God which is done through special services held in the mosques. Special meals are eaten during the daytime and people dress in the finest clothes, spend time with family and friends, and give gifts to children.
Eid is celebrated around the world in more or less the same manner with slight changes which are usually because of cultural differences. In Ghana and Somalia, traditional dances like Adowa and Buraanbur are performed respectively along with the celebrations. This is a unique way of celebrating in Africa during Eid.
Eid is celebrated every year with great spirits, enthusiasm, traditions, and lots of love and brotherhood among people.