There’s a lot more than fasting to Ramadan. For followers of Islam, Ramadan is a joyous month of spiritual growth and late night family meals. It ends with a three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr.
Fasting, rising early for prayer, not gossiping, no drinking, smoking or sex. No distractions at work so avoid chowing down around your Muslim work mates. Once the new moon in the 9th month of the Islamic calendar is sighted, Ramadan begins and for 30 days participants turn their thoughts to the sacred and work on their spiritual growth.
Communities teach the children to look for the timing of the moon rise in their area. While the children learn about the moon rise, they are not expected to fast until puberty. In Europe and the Middle East sometimes the days are longer during Ramadan month and the disciplines can last up to 18 hours. But the night time feast brings whanau to review their day and enjoy the food until the fast begins again around 5am.
About 1% of Kiwis are Muslim or around 48,000 people. A generous Ramadan is the wish with “Ramadan Kareem”.