The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, is one of the holiest for Muslims around the world. This time of observance and celebration is based on the lunar calendar, so it shifts slightly forward each year on the Gregorian calendar – 11 days to be exact! This year, Ramadan begins on March 22nd, ending with the three day holiday of Eid al Fitr on April 21st.
Muslims celebrating the month of Ramadan fast from dawn to dusk, reflect on faith through prayer and by reading the Qur’an, connect with family and friends, and do charity work in order to feel closer to Allah, the Arabic word for God. At the end of Ramadan is the celebration of Eid al Fitr, also known as the “festival of breaking fast,” which begins the next lunar month and is ushered in after a crescent new moon has been sighted. This marks the completion of Ramadan fasting and includes gift giving, visits with loved ones, and prayers thanking Allah for a successful fast.
Learn more about the holiday month of Ramadan, and Eid al Fitr, with the videos, educational resources, and activities below!
Learn About the Holiday
Eid Al Fitr
Grades K-5 Eid al Fitr is a three day holiday that ends the Islamic month of Ramadan. Known as the “Festival of breaking fast,” Muslims will celebrate with family and food after the end of a long fast, joining with one another for prayer and other traditions.
Grades K-8 Nadia, a young Muslim-American girl, describes the celebration of Ramadan. She narrates a day in the life of her family of parents and siblings as she fasts for a whole day. Nadia explains when Ramadan happens, what happens from the beginning to the end of the day, and what it means for adults and children. The video ends with a description of the holiday celebration that ends the fasting month of Ramadan, and what carries over into the next year.
Grades 3-12 For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam, a time of prayer and daily fasting, as well as celebration. The start of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the crescent moon (hilal). This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows the process of sighting the new moon for Muslims in America.
Grades 6-12 As Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan, we wondered what it is like to fast during daylight hours for a month — eating and drinking nothing, not even water. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly spent a day with Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington and also the leader of the Islamic Society of Frederick, Maryland.
Grades K-12 Use this toolkit to promote understanding about Islam through study of the culture, traditions, and personal stories of Muslim Americans. Engaging videos, background essays, discussion questions, and teaching tips challenge students to recognize religious intolerance and combat Islamophobia, while increasing empathy and celebrating diversity.
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