Muslims celebrate Ramadan

Nicole Frutiger

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Nicole Frutiger

For, most of us, the upcoming holidays are a time of feasting, but for Muslims however, it is a time of fasting.

During the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan, a major Islamic holiday is celebrated.

The Muslim calender is lunar, 11 days longer than the Gregorian year.

Ramadan is at a different date each year migrating thought the seasons. The first sighting of th ethin crescent moon signals the beginning of this holy month.

For the next 26 to 30 days, Muslims practice daytime fasting. The healthy abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex during daytime hours. The elderly, ill, pregnant and your children do not fast.

“Fasting teaches self discipline, serves to renew the spirit and [sensitizes] the people to the needs of the poor,” Ann Marie Bahr, religion professor at SDSU said.

She said the during Ramadan everyday life changes in some Muslim countries. Restaurants close during the day, and factories slow down to accommodate the fasting people. Visits to the doctors or dentists are not common during the months because one could accidentally swallow the water the dentists use and injections involve placing a substance into your body as well. After sunset the fast is slowly broken. First small meals are eaten followed by larger ones. Breakfast is eaten before the sun rises the next day.

Fasting is not the only activity emphasized during Ramadan. One tries to avoid negative thoughts and focuses on praying and giving thanks for the Koran from God.

“Ramadan is a celebration rather than a big party; families do get together and children may receive gifts, but Ramadan reminds us about symbolism, the poor and calling out spirits,” said Aliireza Salehnia, computer science professor.

He said that the Islam society and Islamic International Relations Club, “Some people gather for prayers held at the alumni center during the afternoon and evening, other celebrate and pray in the night.”

When the new moon is sited, the fast is broken and the next days are celebrated with family, gatherings and feasting. This celebration, called Eid-ui-fitr, signals the end of Ramadan.