The Ramadan is the main religious holiday connected with obligatory fasting in the Islam. It is named for the ninth month in the Muslim’s calendar – Ramadan (Ramazan). Important to mention, that this month doesn’t pass with our usual understanding of the ninth month in the year – September, because there are specific rules of the determination of the Ramadan month in the Islam religion. In Arabic “Ramadan” means “hot”, “burning”, “scorching”. The name of this month actually is not accidental. In the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of traditional Islam, the fasting is often taken in one of the hottest and the most difficult summer months.
Islamic lunar calendar
The first day of the new month by the moon calendar for Islam is the first day after the new moon. The calendar of Gregorian is approximately for 11 days longer than moon calendar for Islamic, so every year the start date of Ramadan varieties near 11 days before comparing with the current calendar. You must also consider that in some countries of Islam the first day of Ramadan is defined by astronomical calculations, while in others the direct observation of the Moon. It is also can be determined on the basis of empowered in the Islam world people decision. Accordingly, the beginning of the Ramadan may be different in the separate countries or depends on weather conditions and we will then investigate when is Ramadan starting in 2018.
The dates of the next Ramadan
So, when does Ramadan start in 2018? Based on the described possible ways of the determination Ramadan dates, let’s find out in which date the start of Ramadan at this 2018 year. The official date when does Ramadan start this year is on Wednesday, the 16th of May and it will be ended until Thursday, the 14th of June.
The main idea of the Ramadan
There are two important part of the Ramadan – praying and fasting. It’s known that fasting helps people to be more open to their religion and makes praying more conscious. Fasting is the direct training of our inner ego. During Ramadan, people begin appreciating the blessings granted to us by God in the form of food and drink. It helps to understand better people in need. The heart becomes softer and the person more open to good deeds and charity.
Restrictions for people during the month
Ramadan is the hard physical and at the same time moral test of fasting, which this month during the daylight hours is forbidden:
Best exercises for fasting during this period prayer and charity. The authorities of the Islamic countries this month, as a rule, even reduce the workday to provide employees and workers an opportunity to rest more.
Indeed, active life during Ramadan shifts from daylight to evening and night, when the faithful break the fast for a while. The time of iftar (the light meal after the sunset) before the suhoor (early Breakfast before sunrise) – a real feast when fasting Muslims gather with friends and families in restaurants.
Modern Ramadan traditions in different countries
Each Arabian country has its own traditions and customs of Ramadan, which are transmitted from generation to generation. For example, in Egypt, it’s a special colorful flashlight which is decorating the streets with colored lights, garlands, colorful textile with a special Ramadan pattern.
The Egyptians in Ramadan like visiting each other’s homes in the evenings and each hostess tries to surprise guests with a new special dish. Menu for Ramadan is usually carefully planned long before the beginning of the fasting. On the eve of Ramadan, the Egyptian stores are full of buyers: everybody wants to buy food for a whole month because the prices before the Ramadan starts become higher. More of that as a modern variant of Ramadan passing there are different TV shows and films, series on TV in Egypt, which people can watch not to think always about hungriness and distract from thoughts about food. They are shown during the day, waiting for iftar (the time of the day when the sun is already gone down and people can eat). It’s a huge industry of TV products for Ramadan. In a few months before the Ramadan, the Film Directors choose the most interesting stories, the most beautiful scenery, the most famous actors and actresses. Subjects of such TV products can be different: from life to historical and religious.
In the Sudan, it’s decided to organize mass iftar on large squares. Anybody, whom sunset catch on the street, can participate in this mass iftar. After the meal, it usually goes cup of strong coffee and discussions about everything.
In Syria people also love to decorate houses and streets. In the Ramadan start day 2018, there will be welcome signs, “Welcome Ramadan” at homes. Evenings after the iftar meal, kids love to run in the sky the most beautiful fireworks, which can find in the store. And special attention should be paid to the famous Syrian sweets, the sale of which in the days of fasting will be multiplied, and the pastry shops and bakeries switch to the round clock regime.
Saudi Arabia is one of the fist countries who starts to prepare for Ramadan long before the fasting start date feel it’s coming. As written in the Egyptian newspaper «Al-Wafd», the citizens of the Kingdom, stock up on food for the month ahead, and the authorities think about the spiritual purification of the citizens. For example, some time before the fasting broadcasting is stopped in a country, as reported in a special televised address. People there go on streets with tambourines, singing and congratulating each other with the approach of the blessed month. Daily iftar in the Kingdom usually begins with a light snack, which includes a dish of soaked grain, SIP Arabian coffee, a little milk and a piece of special bread.
Ramadan is a sacred tradition that has been observed for many years. The followers of Islam respect their customs and try to adhere to them even at the present pace of life. After all, this post really helps to get purified both spiritually and physically. It is because of this attitude to the religion of the Muslim culture remains such an attractive and respected around the world.