Month of Ramadan begins

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The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began last Thursday night.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, meaning it occurs at different times year-to-year in the Western calendar.

The major feature of Ramadan is the fast. That means no eating from sunrise to sunset, but also no drinking — not even water.

Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends.

However, this year with Covid-19, large gatherings are now banned.

Shorter days in New Zealand will mean Kiwi Muslims have an easier time fasting, compared to many others around the world. There is around 50,000 Muslims in New Zealand.

At the end of Ramadan there is a special three-day festival. This is called Eid al-Fitr – the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

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