Muslims around the world will celebrate Ramadan — the holy month dedicated to fasting, prayer, and studying and reciting the Quran. The observance and celebrations of Ramadan fluctuate each year as it follows the lunar Islamic calendar and the phases of the moon. The beginning and end of Ramadan are tied to the sightings of the crescent moon by a committee in Saudi Arabia. Ramadan is expected to begin about March 22, 2023 ending on April 21, 2023.
Muslims see the month of Ramadan as a time to become closer to God through reflection and divine revelations. It is also a time for families and loved ones to gather and celebrate.
Not very familiar with Ramadan? Here are five ways to learn more with your children:
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1. Teach children Ramadan greetings
During Ramadan, faithful Muslims greet one other by saying "Ramadan Mubarak" (Blessed Ramadan) or "Ramadan Kareem" (Have a generous Ramadan). Practice with your kids!
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2. Craft a crescent moon and star
The Muslim year follows a lunar calendar and the sighting of the crescent moon marks the beginning of a new month. This is especially significant at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when the sighting of the crescent moon marks the end of the fasting period. Kids can make a crescent moon and star out of two paper plates to decorate for Ramadan.
What you need:
- Two white paper plates
- Gold paint
- Black paint
- Use one paper plate to trace the shape of a crescent moon onto the other, then cut it out.
- Draw a star with your pencil on the other side of the cut plate, and cut out the star.
- Paint your moon and star gold. Paint the whole plate black.
- Glue the moon and star to the black painted plate.
- You can hang your moon and star in a window by adding a hole near the top of the plate and tying on string.
3. Learn about Ramadan with Adam and Ayan
There are lots of great kid videos about Ramadan on YouTube. We liked this one because it gives a great explainer about Ramadan for kids, and even includes a fun quiz at the end!
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4. Spend time in the kitchen together
Because most practicing Muslim adults fast from sunrise to sundown during Ramadan, meals are hearty and filling. Dates are the traditional food used to break fast. Try this simple recipe, featuring stuffed dates. It's easy enough kids can help!
- 20 pitted dates, preferably Medjool dates.
- 20 almonds
- 4 oz whipped cream cheese
- Slice partway through the dates and remove any seeds.
- Stuff each date with cream cheese and an almond - Want it sweeter? Mix a teaspoon of honey into your cream cheese!
5. Read "Lailah's Lunchbox"
There are plenty of wonderful kids' books about Ramadan to choose from! We like Lailah's Lunchbox, a sweet picture book about a little girl who has recently moved from Abu Dhabi to Georgia and introduces her classmates to Ramadan. It's based on the experience of author Reem Faruqi, an award-winning writer, former second-grade teacher, and mom.
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