Ramadan Around the World
Ramadan is observed by Muslims across the world. However, depending on where they live this can be challenging. As the date of Ramadan changes each year, sometimes it is during the winter, when days are short. Sometimes, like this year, it is during summer when the days are longest. In 2016 Ramadan includes the longest day (20 June) in the Northern hemisphere. On this day in the UK there will be nearly 17 hours between sunrise and sunset – a very long time to fast. In some parts of the world, such as northern Scandinavia and northern Canada, at this time of year the sun never sets so what do Muslims who live in these areas do? Many believe that if the daylight is longer than 18 hours you can follow the sunrise/sunset times of Mecca or the nearest Muslim country.
Eid-al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday and marks the end of Ramadan. It is the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. At Eid everyone celebrates the end of Ramadan and fasting with celebratory meals. They wear new clothes and decorate and light up homes. Special services are held in mosques and Allah is praised for helping everyone get through the fast. People also give gifts and give to charity to help the poor. It is a very special celebration and a time to spend with family and friends.