Muslims prepare for start of Ramadan

Wednesday 11 August 2010 12.21
Ramadan - Longer than usual fasting period
Ramadan - Longer than usual fasting period

Around 45,000 Muslims living in Ireland are expected to observe Ramadan which begins at sunrise tomorrow.

For the next month, which is the most important in the Islamic calendar, they will be expected to pray more than usual, give to charity and fast from dawn until dusk.

As the holy month has fallen in summer this year, the fasting period is longer than usual.

Pregnant and menstruating women, the elderly and young children are not expected to forego food but some children partially fast to prepare them for when they hit puberty.

Prayer is central to Ramadan and every night, a special prayer is held at the mosque.

The holy month ends this year on 9 September.

The festival of Eid will then be celebrated.