Ramadan 2016 will begin next week on June 6th and end on July 5th. Ramadan marks the 9th month of the lunar calendar and is the Holy Month for Muslims. It is believed to be the month the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
During this time, Muslims go through a period of reflection and devotion, seeking guidance and forgiveness. It is a very special time of worship where Muslims abstain from certain bodily activities like eating and drinking. Fasting during Ramadan, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is done from sunrise to sunset.
Families and friends get together at sunset to break their fast with the Iftar meal and spend quality time celebrating. The time for Iftar changes daily and is announced by the call for prayer and a cannon being shot. Dates are the first food eaten to break the fast. Meat and delicacies are other favorites during the Holy Month. Although it is a month of fasting, food consumption increases during Ramadan.
At mosques, about one-thirtieth of the Quran is recited in prayers each day. By the end of Ramadan, the entire Quran has been recited.
Ramadan Kareem, Happy Ramadan and Ramadan Mubarak are all acceptable greetings. The most commonly used one is Ramadan Kareem which means “Ramadan is generous” the response for this is Allah Akram which means “God is more generous.”
It is customary to give each other gifts during Ramadan and in Eid al-Fitr, which is the celebration following Ramadan. People will likely be looking for new clothes to wear during Eid, or shopping for jewellery to gift their loved ones.
Ramadan is an important time for merchants. But marketers need to be careful about the types of ads they invest in. Marketing ads need to be conservative and respectful towards the Muslim culture and tradition. Crescent moons, dates and lanterns are some of the symbols commonly seen in Ramadan ads. Marketers should focus on the evening hours, after the fast has ended as the best times to market.
Ramadan is celebrated by more than one billion Muslims around the world, including over six million in the United States. It is a time for reflection, devotion and celebration with friends and family.