Ramadan is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam and an important part of the culture and traditions of the Muslim people. It takes places during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and requires the believers to fast from dawn to dusk. But beyond that fact, it’s a month where the Muslims seek peace and generosity is encouraged.

I’ve been living in Dubai the past three years so I have experienced it directly and I can tell is something very special for the Muslim people. For us travellers, another good chance to capture those moments with our camera 😉

Welcoming the Ramadan in Yemen

Welcoming the Ramadan in Yemen

Ramadan doesn’t have a fixed starting date, the muslim clerics of each place must explore the sky to find the crescent moon that determines the beginning of it. Once they have spotted it, they make it official and announce it everywhere.

Muslim clerics in Jakarta, Indonesia

Muslim clerics in Jakarta, Indonesia

Egyptians shop in a market on the Ramadan eve

Egyptians shop in a market on the eve night

Dates are traditionally used to break the fast. After so many hours without drinking and eating, it’s quite ideal to regain strength. They are also a common as a Ramadan present. Iftar is how is known the dinner after the fast, an event usually done among friends or family. Non Muslim people can take part too 😉

Dates on the streets of Ramallah, Palestine

Dates on the streets of Ramallah, Palestine

Iftar event in Istanbul

Iftar event in Istanbul

The crescent moon and star are somehow the symbol of Ramadan. Muslim merchants use it to decorate the streets in several places like Jerusalem.

When Ramadan start it’s common to greet people saying Ramadan Kareem, which means “have a generous Ramadan”. After the first days it’s usually changed to Ramadam Mubarak or “happy Ramadan” 😉

Moon and star in Jerusalem, Israel

Moon and star in Jerusalem, Israel

Believers in the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, France

Believers in the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, France

Cheng Ho mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia

Cheng Ho mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia

Prayers in Medan, Indonesia

Prayers in Medan, Indonesia

If you are traveling to a Muslim country during this time, take into account that the timings of stores and public services usually change. In many places it’s mandatory to finish working a few hours earlier than usually.

Credit: photos by Hani Mohammed, Achmad Ibrahim, Spencer Platt, Mohamad Torokman, Bulent Kilic, Osman Orsal, Vincent Kessler, Robertus Pudyanto, Binsar Bakkara and Ahmad Gharabl.

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