Ramadan is beginning and Muslims throughout the world prepare to hold it as a special month where they pay more attention to themselves and their God than the other eleven months.
First of all, Ramadan is a month of self-improvement. Most people agree that as they fast, they become more conscious of themselves. This consciousness leads to a rethinking of what habits they have developed in the course of almost a year. As they fight their desire to eat and drink, Muslims also learn to fight much egoistic demands that spring from their inside. That is why Ramadan is regarded as a time to get oneself closer to God.
A Ramadan Iftar
The holy Quran is read much more frequently in Ramadan than at other times. People read it individually or in groups through the 30 days of Ramadan, each day one section of the 30 which comprise the whole book.
As people experience starvation and thirst, they also prepare more consciously-chosen foods for the evening, or "iftar”, when they would break their fasting. Sweets and dates are used more at this time. As they are usually the ones to prepare the food for the rest of the family, mothers get a few hours each day of Ramadan for not having to prepare the lunch, so they pay more attention to the dinner and the special Ramadan breakfast which is taken before dawn. Towards the sunset downtown becomes more crowded with women buying ingredients for the family dinner.
A number of religious occasions mark Ramadan especially for the Shiite. The 15th day of Ramadan is the day when the Shiite’s second Imam was born and the occasion is celebrated. Also the 21st day is the day when the first Imam, Ali, was martyred. He was wounded by an Islamic extremist while praying in the Mosque of Kufa in the 19th morning of Ramadan, 40 AH, and died two days later.
The prominent Ramadan occasion is the day after Ramadan is over. The day is a holiday and called "Eid Fitr”, meaning the reopening celebration as Muslims are required to stop fasting. It is largely believed to be the greatest of Muslims’ celebrations. Upon the dawning of the sun on this day, people gather around and pray a special pray. They then pay a certain amount of money per capita to be collected and used for charity causes. Thus having celebrated Ramadan and the reopening celebration, people grasp the holiday to visit holy places or spend a day in nature.