Ramadan Around The World

A look at how Ramadan is celebrated across the world.

BY Arfa Shahid

Muslims touch the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Mecca

UNITED COLORS OF ISLAM: Muslim worshippers stretch their hands to touch the door of Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It was rebuilt by Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) after elements of nature eroded its foundation.

A Palestinian girl prays in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City during the holy month of Ramadan

PRAYING FOR PEACE: A Palestinian girl prays in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City. The structure is adjacent to Al Aqsa Mosque, which both Jews and Muslims believe was built by Prophet Abraham. For Muslims, it is the second holiest site after the Kaaba, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

A woman with her daughter look at a stall selling festival lights and Ramadan lanterns at Sayida Zienab district market during the first day of Ramadan in old Cairo

LIGHT THE WAY: People buying Ramadan lanterns known as fanoos in old Cairo. This tradition, is believed to have originated more than 1,000 years ago, when Cairenes would accompany their Caliph along his journey across the city to the Mokattam Mountain for Ramadan’s moon sighting. Along the route, kids would joyfully hold the fanoos and sing, welcoming Ramadan.

A Muslim cleric leads the afternoon prayers during the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Mumbai

PAPA DO PREACH: A Muslim cleric, leads the afternoon prayers during Ramadan at a mosque
in Mumbai. Many Muslims devote extra hours to prayers and detach themselves from worldly desires
during the holy month of Ramadan.

Men attend an evening mass prayer session, held especially in Ramadan and known as "tarawih" at a mosque in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, June 6, 2016.

SIDE BY SIDE: Men attend an evening mass prayer session, held especially in Ramadan and known as “tarawih” at a mosque in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

People play a folk game called Al-siniya (tray) during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Kirkuk in IraqTHE HUNGER GAMES: People play a folk game called Al Siniya, an Arabic word for tray, in Kirkuk, Iraq. Men of the city gather together after the iftar meal and partake in this hours-long game. Participants must fi nd a dice concealed under one of several overturned copper cups on a tray.

Palestinians test a cannon ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Rafah in the southern of Gaza Strip

READY, SET, IFTAR! Palestinians test a cannon in Rafah, south of Gaza. Historically, the cannon was used to notify observers that it was time to break the fast, as there were no loudspeakers at the time. While the cannon no longer serves its original purpose, the tradition is kept as a symbolic gesture across the Arab World.

Muslims eat their iftar meal at a water pump workshop in the old quarters of Delhi

WORK HARD, PRAY HARD: Muslims eat their iftar (breaking fast) meal at a factory in the old quarters of Delhi, India. Individuals observing the fast in non-Muslim countries often have to work long hours, as opposed to those in Muslim countries who are often granted shorter working hours during Ramadan.

People queue for Iftar (breaking of fast) meals supplied by a local charity during the holy month of Ramadan in Sanaa, Yemen

FOOD FOR ALL: Charity workers distribute food to the public in Sanaa, Yemen. The country faces food shortages because of an ongoing war.

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Photo credit: Damir Beogradlija/Masterkey Properties

SIZZLING: Burek, a traditional bosnian pastry eaten across the Balkans. The dish originated from
the Ottoman Empire.

A volunteer distributes plates of boiled rice with beef and potatoes to people gathering to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Karachi

EAT, PRAY, LOVE: Volunteers throughout Pakistan distribute free food during Ramadan, to celebrate the spirit of giving. Volunteers often stand near traffic signals to provide water and snacks to those who are stuck in traffic at sunset and are unable to break their fast.

A Musaharati, or dawn awakener, strikes his drum to wake observant Muslims for their overnight 'sahur', last meal, before the day's fast during Ramadan in Sidon's Old City in south Lebanon just before dawn,

WHEN A STRANGER CALLS: A musaharati, or dawn awakener, in Sidon’s Old City, South Lebanon, beats his drum to awaken observant Muslims for their last meal or suhoor at dawn, prior to the
day’s first light when the fast starts during Ramadan. The tradition is followed across the Arab world and South Asia.

A Muslim woman (L) reads the Koran as other pray during the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta

FAITHFUL: Indonesian Muslims offer special night prayers or Tarawih, at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ramadan is a time for family bonding, prayers and giving back to the community.

 

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Photo credit: Imdad Awan/www.twitter.com/imdadawan

IS IT TIME YET? Muslims in Norway, who have to fast for an agonizing 19.5 hours a day, queue outside
an Islamic center for prayers and breaking their fast in Oslo. The wait is long, however, it remains shorter than Denmark where Muslims are observing the longest fast in the world this year at 21 hours.

A boy hangs strands of vermicelli, a specialty eaten during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, to dry at a factory in Allahabad

NO STRINGS ATTACHED: Indians hang strands of vermicelli to dry at a factory in Allahabad.
Sevaiyaan is a sweet dish considered a Ramadan staple in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It can be
consumed either as a pre-dawn meal with sweetened milk or as a dessert with nuts.

A vendor waits for customers in his stall ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in the old Damascus

FORBIDDEN FRUITS: A fruit vendor awaits customers in his stall ahead of Ramadan in Old
Damascus, Syria. Muslims who observe the fast are not allowed to drink or eat anything from
dawn till dusk.

A Syrian boy works in a bakery with his family members as they cook a traditional bread with minced meat on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Harran refugee campWHAT’S COOKING? A Syrian boy works with his family at a bakery, cooking traditional bread with minced meat on the first day of Ramadan at the Harran refugee camp in Sanliurfa, Turkey.

A baker prepares dough for bread ahead of Ramadan in Peshawar

BREAD AND BUTTER: A baker prepares dough for bread ahead of Ramadan in Peshawar, Pakistan. The traditional bread known as naan is baked in deep clay pits. Bakers, who often fast themselves, work in the heat to prepare fresh bread during the last few hours of the fast —a time most popular for people to purchase piping hot bread just before breaking the fast.

A man arranges bread on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Tunis

HOT ROLLS: A man arranges bread on the first day of Ramadan in Tunis. Tunisia has launched a campaign against wasting food, which the Tunisian consumer institute estimates one third of food goes to waste during Ramadan.

Muslims break their fast at Sultanahmet square on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Istanbul

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH: Muslims break their fast at Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, Turkey. The
Turkish Ramadan ritual of Mahya is seen in the background. Mahya is a lighted banner hung between two minarets of a mosque that welcomes Ramadan. Tents are also put up across Turkey to serve free food.

A Muslim woman touches a wooden wall as she prays at the shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani during the holy fasting month of Ramadan

SPIRIT OF LOVE A Muslim woman touches a wooden wall as she prays at the shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, a Sufi saint, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Srinagar.

Syrian children sell zucchini on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Harran refugee camp in Sanliurfa province

HARD TIMES: Syrian children sell zucchini on the first day of Ramadan at Harran refugee camp, Turkey.

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