New Delhi: The Islamic holy month of Ramzan or Ramadan begins from Friday (April 24) as the moon was sighted in the states of Karnataka and Kerala. It was first seen at Kappad in Kerala's Kozhikode and then in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka.
Muslims fast from dusk to dawn during the month of Ramadan. The fast begins before the sunrise with a small meal called Sahur or Sehri and is broken with an evening meal called Iftar.
There are fixed timings of Sehri and Iftar for each day. Sehri timing means that the meal has to be finished before the given time and Iftar timing is for breaking the fast.
Unlike the Gregorian Calendar, the Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic year and begins when a crescent moon is sighted. After 29 or 30 days of fasting and prayers, depending on the moon-sighting, Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated.
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Ramadan signifies fasting, charity, and spirituality for the Muslim community. It is said that the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed in this holy month. Besides fasting, recitation of Qur'an has special significance in the month.