WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the year for Muslims. About 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide observe the holiday in some form.

Muslims use Ramadan as an opportunity to self-reflect and become more spiritual. Muslims will fast from dawn until sunset and are not allowed to eat or drink anything, including water, during daylight hours.

Typically, pregnant or nursing women, sick or elderly people, and children are exempt from fasting.

Muslims will invite each other to breakfast and meet for prayers at the mosque during Ramadan.

Ramadan takes place on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on a 12-month lunar year of approximately 354 days. This year, Ramadan begins the evening of March 22nd and ends the evening of April 20th.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fasting. On this day, a prayer and sermon are held followed by a celebration where the community gathers for food, games and gifts for kids.

Here are some Ramadan events happening throughout the month across the DMV:

March 21: Linkin’ it up & Maiya School are launching a Ramadan campaign that will help underserved communities in regard to youth literacy. On Tuesday, the organizations will be meeting between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Moxy Washington, DC Downtown to network over games, henna, open mics and food.

March 24: illMuslims and Qahwa Cafe are kicking off ‘Ramadodgeball DMV’ on the first Friday of Ramadan with a family-friendly night to share in competition, community, and charity. The event will be taking place at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Adams Center Youth Fund.

March 25: Islamic Relief USA is hosting its annual ‘Grand Iftar’ at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. The event will start at 6:00 p.m. and it will include guest speakers, and a recitation of the Quran as well as a time to reflect on the impact the charity has made in the community.

April 1: If you’re looking for the perfect outfit for Eid, American Desi Events will be hosting a ‘Ramadan & Eid Bazaar‘ at the Manassas Church of the Brethren that will go from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the shopping event, you’ll be able to shop for the latest trend and styles and find anything from traditional to modern.

During the month of Ramadan, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will have two Holy Quran Exhibitions at DC public libraries featuring translations of the Holy Quran in about 50 languages alongside the Arabic script. 

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is also holding several public iftar on:

  • Wednesday, March 29
  • Wednesday, April 12
  • Sunday, April 16

Space is limited for iftar, so if you’re interested, they advise you to RSVP to ahmadiyya.dc@gmail.com.