April 3, 2023

How do Canadians celebrate Ramadan?

Ramadan is one of the most important holidays in the Islamic year, and it is observed by millions of Muslims around the world, including in Canada. The country prides itself on multiculturalism and embracing the religions of all newcomers. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act ensures that all people in Canada, regardless of their immigration status, have the right to freedom of belief without persecution. In this blog post, we will explore how Muslims in Canada celebrate Ramadan and what makes this celebration unique.


Ramadan: A Month of Fasting, Prayer, Reflection, and Charity

Ramadan is a religious holiday for Muslims and is celebrated on the ninth month of the lunar calendar. It is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and charity that ends with Eid ul-Fitr, one of the most important holidays in the Islamic year. In Canada, senior political and business leaders commemorate Ramadan by issuing statements and attending or hosting iftars to break the fast. The Prime Minister issues a special statement to mark Ramadan and acknowledge the contributions of Islamic Canadians.


Northern Canadians Have a Longer Fast This Year

Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days depending on the year and always moves by 12 days. Over a few years, it can move from the long nights of winter into spring or summer when the days then become much longer. This means that when Ramadan falls in the spring or summer, those who live in Canada’s more northern communities have longer to wait until the sun goes down and only a short interval before it comes up again. In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, Muslims who are observing Ramadan this year can expect to fast for just over 13 hours a day throughout April. Those in Whitehorse will be waiting 15 hours between meals by the end of the month.


Observing Ramadan in Canada

Observant Muslims pray five times a day throughout the entire year, but during Ramadan, it is encouraged to spend more time in prayer. Some Muslims take time to recite Taraweeh, which means reading portions of the Qur’an each day throughout the month. This can be done at home or the mosque. There are over 20 mosques in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, and Calgary. Muslims in Canada also celebrate Ramadan by giving money to those who are less fortunate, known as Zakat. Charitable organizations across Canada host iftars and other large events to raise money for the less fortunate Muslims, both in Canada and abroad.


Eid ul-Fitr: A Joyful Celebration

Ramadan ends with Eid ul-Fitr. Typically, the day starts by putting on brand-new clothes and going to the mosque for prayers. The rest of Eid is devoted to good food and visiting friends and family. Households will have sweets like mithai, dates, or baklava, depending on their traditions, to entertain guests throughout the day. Eid ul-Fitr is a joyful celebration of the end of Ramadan and the start of a new month, and it is celebrated by Muslims all over the world.


In conclusion, Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and charity that is celebrated by Muslims all over the world, including in Canada. Muslims in Canada celebrate Ramadan in their own unique ways, whether it be through attending iftars, reciting Tarawih, giving Zakat, or spending time with friends and family during Eid ul-Fitr. Canada's embrace of multiculturalism ensures that all people in the country have the right to celebrate their religious beliefs without persecution, and Ramadan is no exception.


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