Ramadan begins today after sundown. And as part of the month-long holy event for Muslims, Twin Cities area mosques and Islamic centers plan to host a series of Ramadan dinners welcoming their non-Muslim neighbors.

People of all faiths are invited to the traditional Ramadan fast-breaking meals known as iftars. The Minnesota Council of Churches -- which has been involved in interfaith programming for more than two decades -- is also helping organize the meals.

“Last year more than 350 guests attended an Iftar during Ramadan. We hope this year will be even bigger”, said Gail Anderson, a director with the Council of Churches, in a released statement. “We hope that people who have never had an opportunity to visit a mosque before will come join us for dinner at a mosque in their neighborhood.”

Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunup to sundown. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity.

These events are free and open to the public but registration is encouraged. Information and registration materials can be found on the MCC website.

Here’s the schedule for metro-area iftar meals during Ramadan:

Wednesday, July 25, 7:45 p.m.
Masjid Al-Taqwa
1949 University Ave
St. Paul, MN

Friday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.
Northwest Islamic Community Center
3300 Plymouth Blvd.,
Plymouth, MN 55477

Saturday, July 28, 7:30pm
Islamic Center of Minnesota
1401 Gardena Avenue Northeast 
Fridley, MN 55432

Saturday, July 28, 8:15 p.m.
Ja’afari Islamic Center
10301 Jefferson Highway
Brooklyn park, MN 55455

Monday, July 30, 7:30 p.m.
Masjid Al-Iman
1429 2nd St. NE
Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday, August 1, 7:30
Muslim American Society of Minnesota
4100 East 66th Street
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Thursday, August 2, 7:30pm
Dar Al Hijrah
504 Cedar Ave SMinneapolis, MN 55454

Friday, August 3, 7:30 p.m.
Burnsville Mosque
1351 Riverwood Drive
Burnsville, MN 55337

Thursday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.
Masjid Al-Rahman
Muslim Community Center
8910 Old Cedar Ave
Bloomington, MN