Minnesota Muslims are marking the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, which is observed with dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer and acts of charity.
With the timing of the annual observance based on a moon-sighting methodology and the lunar calendar, some U.S.-based mosques declared that fasting should begin Wednesday, while others will start observing Ramadan a day later. Among Minnesota’s more than 150,000 Muslims, some began abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset Wednesday.
Muslims traditionally break the fast by eating dates and drinking water, followed by a sunset prayer and an evening meal called an iftar.
During the month, mosques across the state will host free iftars. Non-Muslims are encouraged to attend. A Minnesota Council of Churches program coordinates reservations throughout the month.
The month wraps up with a major three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr.