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Guides: Religious Festivals

Last Updated: Tuesday November 13 2001 20:49 GMT

Ramadan (Muslim)

Muslims praying during Ramadan
A month of fasting to remember when the prophet Muhammed was given the Koran - the sacred book of Islam.


  • Muslims fast from dawn until dusk for 30 days - that means eating nothing while it is daylight (young children, pregnant women, the sick and travellers don't have to fast).
  • At the end of the fast people dress in their best clothes and go to the mosque to pray.
  • Special celebration meals are served. Everyone has a holiday and big family groups get together.
  • Children are given sweets, presents and often new clothes.


  • Ninth month of the Muslim calendar.

  • Because Islam uses a lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan comes around 11 days earlier each year, so it isn't a fixed date in the Western calendar.

  • The festival to celebrate the end of Ramadan, and fasting, is called Eid al-Fitr.

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