Wishing my Muslim friends a Happy Ramadan which for the year 2022 starts on the evening of Saturday, April 2nd lasting 30 days and ending at sundown on Sunday, May 1.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of fasting, prayer, giving and self-evaluation observed by Muslims. The month lasts 29-30 days depending on the sightings of the crescent moon.

The holy month of Ramadan is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the Muslim calendar and marks a huge celebration of faith, culture and history. With over one billion people observing Ramadan across the globe, different cultures have introduced their traditions as part of the celebrations.1

To celebrate Ramadan I am going to showcase four art works created by Muslim artist Natasha Ahmed.

Chawk Bazar – Bangladesh

When it is time for Iftar each day, Muslims come together to break their fast. In Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, there is a gathering of street food vendors on Chawk Bazar, which has become the go-to destination for Muslims in the area looking to celebrate the end of their daily fast with their families. Chawk Bazar has been around for over 400 years and remains a cultural hub for Bangladeshis to this day.

Natasha Ahmed: Chawk Bazar – Bangladesh (1)

Ritual of the Neffar– Morocco

A popular tradition in Morocco, among other countries, is the morning routine of the local town Neffar (Crier)6 walking down the street at sunrise blowing a horn to wake people up and signify Suhoor (the morning meal prior to the start of fasting). This starts each new day within the month of Ramadan.1

Natasha Ahmed: Ritual of the Neffar– Morocco (1)

Henna decorations – Somalia

Whilst this is seen throughout the Muslim community around the world, a popular tradition among Somali women is to come together to celebrate Eid through decorating their hands with beautiful henna artwork. Henna has been around for centuries and women tend to wear these intricate designs from their hands to their elbows in celebration of Eid, as well as other notable events such as weddings.

Natasha Ahmed: Henna decorations – Somalia (1)

Chaand Raat – Pakistan and India

Translated to ‘Night of the Moon’, Chaand Raat is a night of celebration that signifies the end of Ramadan with the first sighting of the new moon. A vibrant tradition in South Asian countries including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, Chaand Raat celebrates the beginning of the new month and the festival of Eid al-Fitr.1

Natasha Ahmed: Chaand Raat – Pakistan and India (1)

1. britishmuslim-magazine.com