One of the most important Muslim holidays Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, starts in 2016 on June, 5 and lasts through July,6.
During Ramadan people focus on the spiritual side of life, pray, refrain from eating and drinking and abstain from impurities such as gossip and cursing. There are five pillars of Islam, the practices that all Muslims must follow especially during Ramadan.
Shahada: The Muslim profession of faith and belief in the one true God.
Salat: Praying five times daily facing the direction of Mecca. Muslims must practice ablution before the prayers.
Hajj: The pilgrimage to Mecca that each Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime.
Zakat: A sense of generosity and gratitude colors these festivities. Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadan. In Islam all good deeds are more handsomely rewarded in Ramadan than in any other month of the year. Zakat, often translated as “the poor-rate”, is a fixed percentage that is required to be donated to the poor and homeless. It is believed that a person who helps another fasting person to break their fast will receive a special reward from God.
Sawm: Is a fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslims practice sawm for the entire month of Ramadan to cleanse the body and mind and practice self-control. Several groups of people including pregnant women, people who are mentally or physically ill, and sometimes women who are breastfeeding are excused from fasting during Ramadan. Children are not obligated to fast until they hit puberty, although many choose to observe the fast at least partially in preparation for later years. During the holiday most restaurants are usually closed. Families get up early for suhoor, a meal eaten before the sun rises. After the sun sets, the fast is broken with a meal known as iftar which usually starts with dates and sweet drinks.
Gifts for Ramadan and Eid
Last day of Ramadan is marked by Eid ul Fitr, a large festival to celebrate the end of the fast and praise Allah (God) for helping people get through the month. Muslims observe it by putting on their best clothes, attending large processions, sharing meal with their family, and exchanging gifts. Ramadan and Eid gifts usually include fruit baskets, sweet gifts, gourmet hampers, flowers and more.