Celebrating Ramadan

Learn about this sacred month in the religion of Islam.

Lights blink on in homes as night falls on a community. The scent of food begins to waft into the evening air. It smells extra delicious to the people in the homes, who haven’t eaten all day. They’re observing Ramadan, a sacred month in the religion of Islam. And the darkened sky is a signal that it’s time to feast!

Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, which marks important holidays and events for Muslims (people who practice Islam). During Ramadan people fast, or refrain from eating and drinking, while it’s light outside. Once the sun sets, families meet for big meals that may include stew, rice, dates, lentils, and more. People also have a morning meal before the sun rises.

For the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world who observe Ramadan, the month is a time to focus on their faith and also perform generous acts. People raise money and donate supplies to help others in need. And many fast to remind themselves about those in the world who don’t have enough to eat.

After the last day of Ramadan, a three-day festival is held. Families and friends gather together to celebrate. They sometimes decorate homes with lights and exchange gifts. As for food, people eat all sorts of things including candies and pastries—and during this time, fasting is not allowed.

(Learn about Ramadan at National Geographic.)