Ramadan

Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان‎ Ramaḍān, IPA: [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn]; variations Persian: Ramazan‎; Urdu: Ramzān; Turkish: Ramazan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of God (Arabic: الله‎, trans: Allah) and to offer more prayer than usual. Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the Gregorian calendar year in 34 years' time. Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.

A young passenger is squeezed into an economy carriage at the Jakarta train station as her family returns to their home provinces to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. Photo: AFP

As Ramadan ends, Malaysia’s great exodus begins

The end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan brings a great migration – known as mudik in Indonesia, balik kampung in Malaysia – when millions brave crowded trains and killer traffic to visit a single destination: home