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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Alternate spellings for Ramadan include Ramadhan and Ramazan.

The word Ramadan means “the hot month” (from the Arabic root r-m-d, meaning “intense heat”), but the month does not always fall in summer. Because the Islamic calendar is lunar, not solar, Ramadan begins 11 days earlier each year.

During Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the revelation of the Quran (also spelled Koran) by praying, fasting and giving to charity. They also read from the Quran and engage in spiritual reflection. Fasting extends from dawn to dusk each day; at sunset, the fast is broken with a meal called the iftar.

The holiday that marks the end of Ramadan is called the Eid al-Fitr, or Eid for short.