By the end of February 2023, the FAZ will be conducting a major survey on its podcast offering.

Anyone who is of legal age and takes part can, with a little luck, win one of ten pairs of exclusive FAZ in-ear headphones.

Aylin Guler

Editor for Social Media.

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For most Muslims, the alarm clock for Ramadan rings before dawn.

Then it's time to get up, have a sumptuous breakfast, hold the morning prayer and maintain discipline.

Because the next meal is only after sunset.

The first few days of Ramadan are certainly not easy, especially when Ramadan falls in the summer months and many only endure the heat with cool drinks and water ice.

Because then devout Muslims are not allowed to eat and drink from sunrise to sunset.

But moral sins, such as insults and lies, must also not be committed during this time.

When is Ramadan 2023?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which, unlike the Western Gregorian calendar, is based on the moon and not the sun.

As a result, the 29- or 30-day fasting period always shifts by ten to eleven days per year.

The date may vary regionally and is determined by religious scholars.

In 2022, Ramadan lasted from April 1st to the feast of Ramadan on May 1st.

This year, 2023, Ramadan begins on the evening of March 22nd and ends on the evening of April 21st.

Muslims living in Scandinavia in the Arctic Circle, where the sun practically never sets in the summer, stick to the times in Saudi Arabia's Mecca or Turkey.

The holy month for Muslims commemorates the revelation of the Koran to the Prophet Mohammed by the Archangel Gabriel.

The term is derived from the root "ramida", which means "burning heat and dryness" and refers to the feeling in the stomach of the fasting person.

Fasting (“Saum”) forms the five pillars of Islam together with the confession of faith (“Schahada”), five daily prayers (“Salat”), the alms tax (“Zakat”) and the pilgrimage to Mecca (“Hajj”) .

They name the main duties of every Muslim.

Even the Prophet Mohammed fasted on Ramadan.

Nowadays, believers do it mainly to enter into dialogue with Allah and to purify body and soul.

But solidarity with fellow human beings also plays an important role during the month of fasting.

Fasting Muslims should not only focus on the dialogue with Allah, but also on showing mercy to the poor and weak.

Social life in particular is strongly celebrated on Ramadan.

When does the breaking of the fast begin?

When the sun goes down, iftar begins for devout Muslims.

The food is usually very sumptuous: pureed lentil soup, white bread, fried rice, lamb, vegetable dishes, salad and pieces of melon.

The hearty food is said to strengthen those who are fasting.

Traditionally, however, a date is eaten first to open the stomach.

The Islamic communities also invite you to dinner together, which is often attended by prominent representatives from politics, society or the church.

So, despite all the effort, Lent is also a solemn and happy time.

Do all Muslims have to fast?

From the time of growing up, Muslims are required to fast.

In the Koran it is written: "It is in the month of Ramadan that the Koran was sent down as guidance for the people [...].

So whoever of you is present during the month should fast during it” (Surah 2, verse 185).

There are only excuses for children, sick or elderly people, pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating women and travellers.

Believers who cannot fast should make up the days of fasting at a later date or instead make a daily donation to those in need. 

How does the month of fasting end?

Even before the end of Ramadan, the preparations for the three-day Ramadan festival "Eid al-Fitr" are underway: special, elaborate dishes are prepared, visits are planned and festival clothes are bought.

A major cleaning ensures that the apartment and house are clean and tidy.

Many Muslims also take vacations to visit their families.

We eat, pray and celebrate together.

Gifts - money and sweets - make the festival a special day for many children.

In Turkish, the festival is called "Ramazan Bayramı


, which is known to the non-Islamic public as "Sugar Festival".

Do only Muslims fast?

Fasting is an integral part of many religions.

Lent is there to open our eyes to spiritual dimensions and prayer.

An aspect that is also known in Christianity: From Ash Wednesday to Easter, Jesus' suffering should be remembered.

His resurrection is to be preceded by repentance and purification.

In Judaism, the most important day of fasting is "Yom Kippur" in September or October.

All sins are to be atoned for on this day.

Buddhists also know fasting days, such as the "Vesakh Festival" on the first full moon day in May or June.

Buddhist monks and nuns also abstain from eating daily after midday to make meditation easier.

By the end of February 2023, the FAZ will be conducting a major survey on its podcast offering.

Anyone who is of legal age and takes part can, with a little luck, win one of ten pairs of exclusive FAZ in-ear headphones.