Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the article and do the other exercises.
Ramadan is a very special time for Muslims all over the world. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims spend time practising their religion and fasting.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar is based on the moon and so is a bit shorter than the Western calendar. This is why Ramadan starts on a different date each year.
What is fasting?
When you fast, you don't eat or drink anything for a certain period of time. During Ramadan, most Muslims don't eat or drink (not even water) between dawn (the time when there is the first light in the sky in the morning) and sunset (when the sun goes down in the evening). Fasting is important because it helps people feel closer to God. People usually start the day with a big meal before sunrise. This meal is called Suhoor. The evening meal, called Iftar, is very important and sometimes lasts for a long time. Special foods are shared with family and friends. Desserts are particularly popular.
What other things do people do during Ramadan?
During Ramadan, Muslims do things that bring them closer to God. It's a time for extra prayers and reading the holy book, the Qur'an. They think about people who are less fortunate than themselves and try to help them. They try not to do bad actions, like saying bad things about people or using bad language. Ramadan is a time to try to be more patient and kinder to the people around you. Many Muslims also give money to charities during the month, and a lot of Islamic charities give food to poor people.
What happens at the end of Ramadan?
There is a special festival at the end of Ramadan, called Eid al-Fitr. It's a time for people to thank God for the strength and help they received during Ramadan. On Eid al-Fitr, Muslims wake up early and dress in their best clothes. Many of them go to the mosque to pray. After prayers, they wish each other a happy Eid (Eid Mubarak in Arabic) and spend the rest of the day with their families. They eat special food and give each other presents.
Do you observe Ramadan? Do you have another special time of year? Tell us about it!