What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is a time for unity, spiritual reflection, and doing good deeds in your community. It is considered one of the most significant months for Muslims around the world and is marked by a period of fasting

When is Ramadan this year?
Ramadan falls on a different date every year, due to the cycles of the moon. In 2023, Ramadan will start on the evening of Wednesday, March 22nd, and will finish on the evening of Friday, April 21st.

How does fasting work?
The early morning meals eaten before dawn are known as suhoor or sehri. During the fast nothing is eaten or drank - including water - until the fast is broken after sunset for the evening meal, called iftar or fitoor.

Traditionally, fasts are broken by eating dates which are a staple in Muslim households and are a symbol of abundance, and offering many nutritional benefits.  Dates are easy to digest so they don’t exhaust your stomach after fasting for long hours. They help satisfy hunger quickly so when breaking fast, one isn’t rushing to eat a big meal.

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What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid takes place at the end of Ramadan. The name "Eid al-Fitr" translates as "the festival of the breaking of the fast". Like the beginning of Ramadan, Eid begins with the first sighting of the new moon.

On Eid Day visiting family, enjoying delicious feasts with loved ones and doing acts of charity for those in need is customary. Giving to others is an important part of Ramadan as well as the Eid al-Fitr celebrations. This form of charity is called sadaqah al-fitr. It makes sure that everyone will be able to mark the end of Ramadan by coming together and enjoying a special meal.

How are the dates for Ramadan and Eid set?
The month of Ramadan is the ninth of the year, and Eid is celebrated at the beginning of the 10th month, Shawwal.  Each month begins with the sighting of the new crescent moon and lasts either 29 or 30 days.

In the past, this was done by the naked eye, but in recent years, telescopes and technology have been used.  The lunar calendar is about 10 days shorter than the Western calendar, which is based on the cycle of the sun. This means that each year Ramadan starts about 10 days earlier than the previous year, and over time gets earlier and earlier in the year.


Traditional dishes and desserts:

At the centre of all celebration, food plays such a significant role in bringing people together. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated in many different geographical locations, each with its own unique flavors and traditions. Below you’ll find some favorite food and desserts served during EID from around the world.

"Doro Wat"

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  • Biryani (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh) - rice dish mixed with your choice of meat curry (Chicken, Beef, or Lamb), with tons of spices and marinades.
  • Doro Wat - (Ethiopian) Spiced Chicken Stew
  • Bolani - (Afghanistan) Stuffed Flatbread
  • Beef Rendang - (Malaysia/Indonesian) - Beef Stew with spices & coconut Milk
  • Tajine - (North Africa) - Slow-cooked savory stew made with sliced meat & vegetables in an earthenware pot.
  • Mugalgal -(Saudi Arabia) -Lamb meat, fried with tomatoes, onions, green peppers & spices.
  • Ouzi - (UAE) - Slow cooked dish with goat meat mixed with rice and garnished with fried pine nuts.

"Sheer Khurma"

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  • Sheer Khurma (Pakistan, India) - Vermicelli, milk, sugar & nuts
  • Maamoul (Syria & Lebanon) - Shortbread Cookies
  • Lokum (Turkish) Confections based on a gel of starch & sugar.
  • Tufahije (Bosnian)  - Poached Stuffed Apples
  • Baklava (Middle Eastern) - Layered filo pastry, filled with chopped nut & sweetened with syrup & honey


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