What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims worldwide through fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, their core beliefs, along with profession of faith, prayer, alms, and pilgrimage.
Ramadan falls on a different date every year, according to the cycles of the moon. This 2023, Ramadan began on the evening of Wednesday March 22nd, and will end on the evening of Friday April 21st.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr takes place at the end of Ramadan, coinciding with the first sighting of the new moon. Its name translates in English to "the festival of the breaking of the fast."
Muslims celebrate Eid through prayer and food. Many will attend prayers at their mosque early in the morning. Traditionally many will eat something sweet, such as a date, and recite a short prayer, called a takbeer before making their way to the mosque.
In many countries, Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday, and Muslims will gather for a meal amongst friends and family. Adding on to the celebration, they will wear their best new clothes, and present gifts to their loved ones. Many will also perform acts of charity throughout the day.
Learning With Your Library Card
This April, I will be using my library card to learn more about these two holidays, as well as other aspects of Muslim culture and faith. The following is a list of everything I will be reading and watching this month. All of these are available to you as well with your library card. Please note that not all these titles are related to these two holidays or are they all very festive. I felt it was important to add a variety of work to my list to include as much representation as possible. Feel free to read and watch any time, not just this Ramadan season.
Movies – Most are available on Kanopy
School of Babel (DVD)
Documentaries - Available on Kanopy
Food, Science, and the Human Body (Episode 21: Food as Ritual)
The Everyday Gourmet: The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking (Episode 8: Tunisia – The Home of Harissa)
Food: A Cultural Culinary History (Episode 12: Islam– A Thousand and One Nights of Cooking)
Middle Grade Novels