Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims all over the world. Ramadan is based on the Islamic Lunar calendar; when the new crescent moon is seen, it is the beginning of the holy month, which moves up 10 days every year. Last year, Ramadan began on April 12th, and this year it started on April 2nd. Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed by an angel from God. The exact night is called Laylat-Al-Qadr or “The night of power”; it is usually celebrated on the 27th night of Ramadan, but the exact day is unknown. However, Muslims know that it is on one of the odd days in the last ten days (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th). People pray and read the Quran all night because it is believed that Laylat-Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months of prayer. 

During the month, Muslims are obligated to fast and stay away from harmful actions like drinking, smoking, lying, gossiping, and arguing (which should be refrained from during the other 11 months as well). Ramadan is about nourishing the soul rather than fixing your physical body. Fasting teaches Muslims how to grow closer to God by learning patience and compassion; it is done between sunrise and sunset so Muslims usually wake up before sunrise and eat to start their day. At sunset, Muslims usually break their fast with dates like the Prophet did. 

At the end of the month, Muslims celebrate the end of fasting also known as Eid Al-Fitr. It is a three-day festival that starts when the new moon is sighted again for the new month. Muslims usually celebrate by visiting family and friends, eating feasts, and giving thanks to God. It is also important for Muslims to donate to the poor at this time to show their gratitude. Some traditional foods that are eaten in Ramadan include samosas, pakoras, dates, fruit, and different types of rice. 

I have always loved participating in Ramadan with my family. We wake up around 5:30 AM every day and eat a small meal before we start our fast; At night, we gather around 8:00 pm to break it. On Eid Al-Fitr, my family and I buy donuts to celebrate the first day of the new month. We have created different traditions each year which is what makes Ramadan so special to me. This month also helps me and my family reflect on the past 12 months and motivates us to be a better version of ourselves.