Muslims across the globe are entering the second week of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
Here are some facts about the holy month:
- Fasting during Ramadan is mandatory for all Muslims.
- It occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and lasts 29 to 30 days.
- The Islamic calendar is lunar, so every so often Ramadan happens during the summer. That means longer, hot days and longer fasts — something that can be very trying.
- During the holy month, Muslims must not eat or drink while the sun is up.
- There are some exceptions. For instance, young children, people who are ill, travelling, or women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or on their period can break their fast.
- The fast also extends to smoking, having sex and sometimes other behaviours that could be interpreted as negative like swearing and procrastination.
- Food and drink is served before sunrise and after the sun goes down.
- The fast also acts as a reminder of the suffering of others. Muslim communities often work together during Ramadan to raise money for the less fortunate.
- The end of Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with prayers, a feast and a celebration.