Ramadan has begun. Here’s how Austin is observing the Islamic holy month.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts this week.
From iftars to festivals, there are several events happening in Austin over the next month.
But first: What is Ramadan?
During this 30-day period, Muslims will abstain from eating or drinking (yes, even water) from sunrise to sunset. Muslims believe that fasting serves as an act of devotion to God.
Ramadan is also a time for practicing the five pillars of Islam: salat (prayer), sawm (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage), shahada (profession of faith) and zakat (giving).
The month follows the lunar calendar. Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, is on April 21.
During this month, you might hear Muslims tell each other "Ramadan Kareem." They're wishing one another a generous Ramadan.
The daily breaking of the fast at sunset is known as iftar. Some Muslim-owned restaurants tend to close during their normal hours throughout Ramadan and reopen for iftar, sometimes with a buffet for those who fast that day.
Austin city officials and the Minaret Foundation are hosting a citywide iftar on April 2 with some state and U.S. representatives. It costs $25 a person and will be at the Asian American Resource Center.
The North Austin Muslim Community Center is inviting non-Muslim folks to join them for a Ramadan Open House on April 15 and 16. The open house will include an information session about Ramadan, a Mosque tour, a breaking of the fast, observation of a live prayer and dinner.
At the end of Ramadan, various Muslim groups are coming together to host an Eid Festival. They’ll have a bazaar, halal food and carnival rides. It costs $10 a person for entry. The event is on April 22 at Reunion Ranch in Georgetown.
Know of other Ramadan-related events happening this month? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.