Iranians observe first Ramadan without COVID curbs
As the sun sets, this divine voice calls for prayer. But during the fasting month of Ramadan, it also means that the fasting hours are over and Muslims can eat the Iftar, or the breakfast.
In Iran, the Ramadan crescent was sighted on the eve of Sunday, so Sunday was announced as the first day of the holy month. This is the third year in a row that Muslims observe the fasting month amid the coronavirus pandemic. But this year, COVID restrictions are eased as the pandemic has partly subsided.
It's the first time after more than two years that Muslims mark Ramadan without serious worries over the coronavirus. With the majority being vaccinated, the holy month will once again see Muslims getting together for mass religious ceremonies and prayers.
Taking part in congregational prayer is one of the rituals Muslims do before iftar. Last year, such ceremonies were largely curtailed due to the pandemic.
This was also the case for the 19th, 21st and 23rd nights of Ramadan, known as the nights of glory, when Muslims stay up until dawn, praying and making wishes.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Based on the calendar, months begin and end depending on the movement of the moon in its orbit around the Earth, and the start of each month depends on the sighting of the new moon the day before.
The holy month will end with a major festivity called Eid al-Fitr, or the festival of breaking the fast.