Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, has immense spiritual significance as it marks the period when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This holy month, characterized by fasting, charity and blessings, is one of the five pillars of Islam. Adult Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, a practice that reflects devotion and self-discipline.
The United Arab Emirates, like other Islamic countries, determine the start of Ramadan by observing the moon, following official announcements by the moon observing committee in Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. The beginning of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the new moon and normally lasts 29 or 30 days.
In the United Arab Emirates, Ramadan traditions begin in mid-Shaaban with the celebration of Hagg Al Layla. Emirati children, dressed in festive costumes, visit neighbors to collect sweets and nuts, singing traditional songs. The daily fast during Ramadan is marked by two main meals: Suhoor before sunrise and Iftar to break the fast at sunset, which usually begins with dates and laban.