For Muslims, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is for Muslims to refrain from drinking, eating, smoking, or anything that is ill natured. Every day for four weeks, participating Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, and are only allowed to consume food and water after sunset and before sunrise the next day. The purpose of Ramadan is for Muslims to purify themselves, to self reflect, and to view the world and life aspects from different perspectives. Through fasting, Muslims are meant to learn and understand deeper meanings about patience, modesty and spirituality. They are to fast for God, and to pray more. During Ramadan is time for Muslims to pray for guidance, and to ask for forgiveness for past sins.
The dates of Ramadan may vary each year as the calendar moves depending on the moon. The Islamic calendar is Lunar calendar, and a new month begins at the sight of the first crescent of new moon. Most Muslims will use the local sighting of the moon as a mark of the beginning of Ramadan, but some Muslims insist on calculating the time of the new moon to determine start of the month. Since the cycle of the moon varies globally, the dates of Ramadan will also vary by a day or two from country to country. Generally the starting date of Ramadan moves ten days earlier than the previous year, and according to the estimated calculation the starting date of Ramadan in 2015 will fall in the mid of July.
The most prominent event during Ramadan month is fasting. Everyday practising Muslims get up before sun rise to eat the pre-dawn meal, and offer their prayer. They are not allowed to drink and eat anything (not even water) until after the sun has set. During Ramadan Muslims are to reflect and worship Allah, they are expected to put in more effort into understanding the teachings of Islam. Any irreligious sights and sexual activities with London escorts or even your wives are also forbidden. The intention is to achieve a deeper connection, personal worship, and awareness to God. So pure thoughts and actions are very important.
Some people may be exempt from fasting; groups of elderly, mentally ill, chronically ill, pregnant women, women nursing newborns, and women during their menstruation. Children and people who travel more than 77km a day may be exempt from fasting too, however they are expected to make up the days later. Sometimes this can also be made up by feeding the poor.
During Ramadan Muslims are also likely to slow down from wordly events and affairs to focus on self reformation. They are meant to focus more on spiritual enlightenment and cleansing, and to establish stronger links between themselves and God. They should practise good deeds, kindness, charity, and help to others.
Ramadan is also a festival of giving and sharing. People buy presents for family and friends, and offerings to poor people in needs or those who can not afford new things such as clothes and shoes. There is also special event involved in preparing special food for each other and guests- which is called the Iftar meal, meaning the meal to open the fast.
In many Muslim countries markets and shops close down during the time of Iftar meal, then they reopen for good part of the night for people to shop and to spend their time together with family and friends. Generally a Muslim is expected to start fasting when reach the age of puberty, and is at healthy state of body and mind.