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Happy Ramadan!

Edited 3/13/24 at 9:30 am

Important Dates

Every year, Muslims fast each day of Ramadan from dawn until dusk, for the duration of the month. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin in the evening on Sunday, March 10, 2024 and end on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. The Islamic Calendar follows a lunar cycle, and while these are the calculated expected dates of Ramadan, they can differ from place to place based on moon-sightings or lack thereof. Some Muslims strictly follow calculations, while others strictly follow moon-sightings, and some follow a combination of both. What Muslims choose to follow can depend on their religious convictions, where they have lived in the world, and what their families practice. The day after the end of Ramadan (Wednesday, April 10, 2024) is a religious holiday called Eid-al-Fitr.



Ramadan commemorates the month during which Muslims believe the prophet Muhammed was given the first revelations of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, from the angel Gabriel. It’s an extremely important month in the Muslim year.


Observing Ramadan

For each day of Ramadan, fasting consists of abstaining from eating or drinking, including water, while the sun is out. Once the sun has set, Muslims eat dinner, a meal called “iftar” in Arabic. Iftar is generally a community-focused meal, where family members and friends come together for the blessed occasion. Afterwards, eating and drinking during the night is allowed until dawn of the next day.

During Ramadan, it is customary for Muslims to pray extra nightly prayers and participate in other religious practices throughout the day and night, when possible. They will often wake up for or stay up until “suhur”, a pre-dawn meal.


What Are the Rules for Eating and Fasting During Ramadan?

Eating times. Fasting Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal called suhur and a post-sundown meal called iftar. For iftar, dates and water or milk are often consumed before the dinner itself. Everyone is also allowed to snack and hydrate between dusk and dawn. At sunrise, the fasting day begins again.

Fasting exceptions. Only healthy adults are required to fast during Ramadan. Children, the elderly, those mentally or physically incapable of fasting, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and travelers are not expected to fast.


Ramadan Greetings

Wish your Muslim neighbors “Ramadan Mubarak” (Happy Ramadan) or “Ramadan Kareem” (may Ramadan be generous to you). You can also simply say “Happy Ramadan” in English.


More Resources:

How Muslims mark Ramadan, and what makes it a holy month | PBS NewsHour

Why Ramadan is the most sacred month in Islamic culture

American Ramadan (2006)

Film Professor Shares Top Film Picks for Ramadan – UM School of Communication

6 Books About Ramadan and Eid for Young Readers of All Ages | School Library Journal

8 Books that Celebrate Ramadan | Parenting… | PBS KIDS for Parents

Best Ramadan Podcasts (2024)

The Five Pillars of Islam | The Metropolitan Museum of Art