Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 14:04 UK

In pictures: Ramadan Kareem

Jerusalem Ramadan preparations

Palestinians decorate the covered passages of Jerusalem's Old City as the holy Muslim month of Ramadan begins.

Tarawih prayers in Jakarta

Rituals include fasting between dawn and dusk, and offering special prayers during the evening, as here in Jakarta's Istiqlal mosque.

Bosnian Muslim girls

Some traditions vary from region to region; in the Bosnian town of Kladanj, Muslim woman and girls gather to pray at a cave, the water of which is said to have mystical qualities.

Iraq woman in Najaf rests her Koran on her head to free both hands for praying

In many Shia Muslims areas, including much of Iraq where this woman is praying, the holy month - calculated by the variable lunar calendar - will begin on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mohabbat Khan mosque, Peshawar, Pakistan

The Mohabbat Khan mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan, gets a special clean for a time of peak attendance at religious rituals.

Saudis buy dates in Unayaza market

One of the global aspects of Ramadan is the use of certain foods to break the fast, with the date being particularly favoured in many countries.

Iraqi bakers make kunafa

Iraqi bakers prepare kunafa, a popular dessert for Ramadan. The month comes at a time of reduced violence in their country, making it a time of greater than usual celebration.

Rawalpindi Ramadan preparations

Mouth-watering dishes are prepared for religious gatherings in Rawalpindi in Pakistan, although it is an area where fasting will not begin until Tuesday at the earliest.

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