In Pictures: The start of Ramadan

Millions of Muslims around the world celebrate the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.


    Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar when millions of Muslims worldwide fast from dawn to sunset. Ramadan, which changes each year depending on the moon, began this year on August 1. The breaking of the fast each day is called the Iftar, when families and communities gather to feast together. The meal starts with the eating of a single date, a tradition that originated with the Prophet Muhammad.

    1) A Muslim man in Indonesia looks at the moon through a telescope on July 31, one day prior to the start of Ramadan [Aman Rochman/AFP]


    2) A man at Cairo's al-Azhar mosque attends the evening prayer, named 'Taraweh', which marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan [Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters]


    3) Palestinians get ready for the month of Ramadan at occupied Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, one of the world's holiest sites for Muslims [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]


    4) Pakistani farmers carry harvested dates in a palm orchard in Rajankot, near the city of Hyderabad, in preparation for Ramadan. Pakistan is the world's fourth largest producer of dates, which are generally used to break the fast during Ramadan each day [Yousuf Nagori/AFP]


    5) Women in Nigeria prepare food for sale on the first day of Ramadan in the Utako district of the capital Abuja [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters]


    6) Saudis buy and sell dates on the eve of Ramadan at a market in Riyadh [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]


    7) Tunisians buy bread on the first day of Ramadan at a market in the capital Tunis [Fethi Belaid/AFP]


    8) Filipino girls arrive for prayer inside a mosque near the capital Manila [Jay Directo/AFP]


    9) The shadow of a Palestinian boy reading the Quran on a wall at the al-Omari mosque in Gaza City on the first day of Ramadan [Ali Ali/EPA]


    10) Pakistanis pray before their Iftar (fast breaking) at the Dervesh Mosque in Peshawar [A Majeed/AFP]


    11) Women in Jakarta attend a mass prayer session marking the start of Ramadan at the Istiqlal mosque [Supri/Reuters]


    12) A Malaysian boy reads from the Quran inside a mosque in Kuala Lampur [Mohd Rasfan/AFP]


    13) Indonesian men take a rest as they wait for a prayer time on the first day of Ramadan at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta [Adek Berry/AFP]


    14) A boy takes part in prayers at Strasbourg's new Grand Mosque [Vincent Kessler/Reuters]


    15) An Afghan man makes sweets in a shop in Kabul in preparation for Ramadan [Shah Marai/AFP]


    16) A shop in Paris sells traditional North African sweets in preparation for Ramadan [Miguel Medina/AFP]


    17) A rebel fighter prays before breaking the fast at the front line near the Libyan town of Zlitan on the first day of Ramadan [Darren Whiteside/Reuters]


    18) A Yemeni man fires a cannon to mark the end of the first fasting day of Ramadan in the southern city of Taiz [EPA]


    19) Anti-government protesters attend the Iftar meal in Sanaa, Yemen, on the first day of Ramadan [Yahya Arhab/EPA]


    20) People in Turkey break their first day of fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with free meals distributed by the municipality in downtown Istanbul [Mustafa Ozer/AFP]


    21) A Palestinian boy in Gaza City plays with fireworks to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan [Ali Ali/EPA]


    22) Kashmiris perform ablutions near a fountain at the landmark Jamia Masjid during Ramadan in Srinagar [Tauseef Mustafa/AFP]


    23) People buy food for Iftar at Chakbazaar in Dhaka, Bangladesh [Andrew Biraj/Reuters]


    24) Women break fast at King Fahad mosque in Los Angeles [Lucy Nicholson/Reuters]


    25) A man enters a mosque for evening prayers in Moscow [Denis Sinyakov/Reuters]

    SOURCE: Agencies


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