Read the article about Ramadan and then do the exercises.
Ramadan in the UK
There are around 1.5 million Muslims in Britain, making Islam the second biggest religion in the country. London alone has Muslims who originate from over thirty different countries. During the month of Ramadan, many Muslims in Britain join Muslims all over the world in observing a month of fasting during daylight hours.
What do people do?
Fasting Muslims do not eat or drink anything between dawn and sunset. They also give up bad habits, and try to be model human beings for the whole month of Ramadan. Many people give money to charity during Ramadan. For many, Ramadan is a chance to have more time to think and reflect. It is also a time of prayer and people coming together, especially to share Iftar, the evening meal just after sunset.
Ramadan is about praying, family time and thinking about and giving to people less fortunate.
Izzy, aged 19.
Ramadan is a time for me to reflect and appreciate what I have.
Amz, aged 18.
Ramadan is about asking for forgiveness, and all that lovely food your mum makes, lol!!!
When is it?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the start date is based on the appearance of the crescent moon. This means that in summer, especially in countries like Britain that are further from the equator, the hours of fasting are longer. In 2016, Ramadan in Britain will start on or around 6 June and go on until approximately 5 July, and people observing Ramadan in Britain will have to fast from around 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. - that’s about 16 hours. Summer Ramadan has other challenges too.
In the school holidays it’s harder. It’s actually easier when you’ve got school. You’re busy so you don’t think about eating and drinking as much.
Sami, aged 17.
Does everyone have to do it?
Children, pregnant women and people who are sick are not expected to fast. Young people normally start fasting when they are teenagers. In special cases, you can make up the days of fasting at a later date. For example, if you are pregnant or on a tiring journey during Ramadan, you can do the fast later, when your circumstances are different.
2012 London Olympics
In 2012, Ramadan coincided with the London Olympics. 3,000 Muslim athletes from all over the world had to face competing without food and liquids. Many athletes observed the fast strictly while still taking part in the Olympics. Others decided to delay the fast until a later date. Mo Farah, who became double Olympic gold champion, made the difficult decision to make up the days of fasting after the event. For the athletes who were fasting, the Olympic Village dining room was open 24 hours a day, and stocked with special Ramadan foods such as dates, Halal beef and Halal chicken.
Worksheets and downloads
Do your family celebrate Ramadan? Tell us about it!