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Culture,  Ramadan

What is Ramadan: everything you need to know

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Ramadan: everything you need to know

What is Ramadan, what is fast, when does it start, and what is the Sugar Feast?

The one-month fast for Muslims is about to start again: Ramadan 2021. For many Muslims a period of reflection and fraternization. We will tell you everything you need to know about this special month.

When does Ramadan start?

Unlike the Gregorian calendar that is based on the sun and that is used in Europe, the Islamic calendar works on the basis of the moon. This means that the month of Ramadan only starts when the first dash of the moon is visible. This can differ per country and that also explains why fasting has already started in one country and Ramadan starts a day later in another. This year it will be from about April 13 to May 12. May 12 is therefore about the end of Ramadan. A nice way to wish someone a happy Ramadan is Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem. This means something like: a blessed Ramadan.

What is the purpose of Ramadan?

Muslims observe the month of Ramadan, to mark that Allah, or God, gave the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in 610. During Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures, and pray to become closer to God. It is also a time for families to gather and celebrate.


Ramadan is regarded as one of the  Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.

The spiritual rewards (thawab) of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan.

What is Ramadan: everything you need to know

What exactly is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the  Islamic calendar. it’s a month of fasting for Muslims worldwide, prayer, reflection, and community.  During this month they fast between sunrise and sunset, so they do not eat or drink. Also, smoking is not allowed between these hours and you are not allowed to have sex. Lying, swearing, gossiping and swearing is extra bad during Ramadan. According to Islam, fasting teaches man to restrain himself and can teach it qualities such as discipline, endurance, and especially self-control. Furthermore, fasting would strengthen empathy in the poor and increase respect for fellow human beings. Every day of fasting is seen as a victory. In addition to a month of reflection, Ramadan is a month in which extra attention is paid to tolerance, generosity, charity, and togetherness. After sunset, after not having eaten or drunk for a whole day, many Muslims come together with their family to enjoy an extended meal! to eat. Each culture has its own customs for this.

Fasting from sunrise to sunset is fard  (obligatory) for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, traveling,  elderly,  breastfeeding,  diabetic, or menstruating. The predawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the nightly feast that breaks the fast is called iftar.

ALSO READ: Ramadan outfit inspiration 2020 

End of Ramadan: Sugar Feast

The end of Ramadan is also called EidThere is then a lot of unpacking: everyone has made or bought an enormous amount of sweet snacks. They visit each other and give presents or money. Many cultures also buy new clothes for this party to look their best. If you want to congratulate a Muslim on finishing this special month, say Eid Mubarak. 

What is Ramadan: everything you need to know

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