» Ramadan May 26 to June 25, 2017* One of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is an annual observance that takes place in 2017 from May 26 to June 25*. It’s a vital part of the Islamic religion, requiring daytime fasting (though certain populations, such as children, the ill and the elderly are exempt), performed with the aim of “purifying the soul and getting closer to God.” Ramadan encompasses three distinct dates: Beginning: Once the astronomical new moon appears, Hilal (the crescent) begins. Night of Power: Considered the holiest night of the year, Laylat al-Qadr celebrates the night that Islam’s religious text, the Quran, was sent down to Muhammad. End: As the next lunar month, Shawwal, dawns, the holiday of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims celebrate the end of the period of fasting, donate money to the poor and are encouraged to forgive and let go of grudges or animosities that occurred in the past year. *Dates approximate, according to sightings of the moon.
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