Every year, over 1 billion people around the world celebrate Ramadan — a month-long tradition of fasting, spiritual reflection and gratitude before the fast-breaking Eid.
About The Holiday 1.8 Billion Celebrate In The World
In this time of spiritual reflection and gratitude, it is important to appreciate the simpler things in life: Health. Family. Loved Ones. Comfort. Humanity. Food on the table.
Seven percent of Mindvalley employees are Muslims, and this year many of our foreign team members were able to experience the Ramadan festivity with them. We also had a fast-breaking dinner at our HQ as part of our cultural celebration.
So we decided to record the event and interview some of our Muslim co-workers as well as some observers of the tradition on what it means to them.
We’ve also added some of the most interesting facts about Ramadan so you can get to know the tradition that over a billion people in the world celebrate.
1. Ramadan is celebrated on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar
Every year, the specific dates of Ramadan vary, but it’s always held on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. It is meant to celebrate and honor the time that the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE.
2. It’s expected that you fast from food, drink, and other pleasures
During the fast, you’re not supposed to eat any food, drink anything (including water), or partake in any pleasures. However, that does not mean that Ramadan is meant to be penance; instead, it is supposed to be a celebration of Allah, or God. It’s a month of deep spiritual reflection.
3. But certain groups are exempt from fasting
Some groups, like mentally or physically ill people, pregnant women, children who have not hit puberty, are exempt from fasting during Ramadan. Instead, they can choose to feed those who are homeless as an act of kindness.
4. Before the fast, there’s a special morning meal at dawn called “suhoor”
The meal that Muslims take at dawn called “suhoor” is considered a vital part of Ramadan. Suhoor is taken to ensure that they stay in vital good health throughout the day, even when they are fasting.
5. At sunset, the fast is broken with a meal called “iftar”
“Iftar” is the meal that the fast is broken with. It’s said that Prophet Muhammed would break his fasts with dates and water, which is now the tradition.
6. Then, many people eat large and elaborate meals with family and friends
After iftar, many people eat large meals with their family and friends at local mosques. Typically, sweets are provided at these meals (and are very popular).
7. Non-Muslims can wish Muslims a happy Ramadan by saying, “Ramadan Mubarak.”
If you’d like to wish your Muslim friend a happy Ramadan, you can say, “Ramadan Mubarak.” This means, “Have a blessed Ramadan.”
8. Charity is a huge part of Ramadan
As our team says in the video, Ramadan is a time of being generous, acting selflessly, and thinking of others. There are two forms of charity Muslims are encouraged to do during Ramadan: 1) “Zakat,” mandatory giving, and (2) “Sadaqa,” voluntary giving.
9. Every country or region celebrates Ramadan a little bit differently
From Indonesia to Egypt to where we’re headquartered in Malaysia, every country and region celebrates in a different way. In Egypt, specially-made lanterns called Fanoos are a common symbol. In Indonesia, dancing is a huge part of Ramadan.
On behalf of the international Mindvalley family, we’d like to thank and wish everyone a great Eid, and hoped you had a happy Ramadan 🙂