9th month of the Muslim calendar, ramadan is the month of fasting, one of the five pillars fo islam. the month starts when the new moon is observed.

Fasting means abstaining – from sunrise to sunset – from eating and drinking and from any pleasure. It is compulsory for any believer over the age of puberty, with possible exceptions for the sick, pregnant women, travellers and the military.

Ramadan is also a month of meditation, prayer and mastering of the will. The month of fasting, which has strongesr social dimension than any other Islamic obligation, is certainly the best observed Muslim religous practice.

Ramadan is the month during which the first Surat of the Quran was dictated to the Prophet. The Night of destiny (Layla al-Qadr) ends with Aid al Fitr, one of the most important celebrations of the Muslim calendar (not to be mixed up with Aid al Kabir – which commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice).

The Muslim calendar (lunar) consists of 12 months of 29 or 30 days, thus the Ramadan month moves backj by 11 days every year, compared to the Gregorian calendar, moves forward and thus can fall in any season.

In 2002 (or 1423 according to the Muslim calendar), Ramadan started on the 6th of November and finished on the 5th of december. In 2003 (1424) it will start on the 26th Ocotber and will finish on the 24th November. The beginning and the end of Ramadan are announced by the new moon, an astronomical event that, part or all of Islamic world can not always be observed on the first day of the following month.