Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this time, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting shows devotion to Allah and Mohammed, builds self-discipline and encourages compassion for those who are less fortunate. Every evening during Ramadan, families come together for the evening meal.

Eid Al-Fitr is the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan. People wear new clothes, eat special foods, visit family members and give presents to children. The celebration is officially three days, but if the holiday falls in the middle of the week, shops and schools may stay closed for the entire week.

Eid Al-Adha lasts four days and is celebrated in almost the same way as Eid-al-Fitr. It occurs two months and 10 days after Eid Al-Fitr, during the time of the Haj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca. It celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to God.

Muharram, the Muslim New Year, is the beginning of the first month in the Hejira calendar. The day commemorates the departure of Mohammed and his followers from Medina and their return to Mecca.

The Shi'ite community observes the religious festival of Ashura, which marks the death of Hussein, grandson of the prophet Mohammed, at the Battle of Karbala in 680 A.D.

The Muslim calendar is known as the Hejira calendar (hejira means "flight"). In 622 A.D., Mohammed was warned by his followers that his enemies intended to murder him, so he left Mecca for Medina. His journey marks the beginning of the Hejira calendar. The Hejira calendar is based on the phases of the moon and is 11 days shorter than the solar calendar used in Canada, which is based on the movement of the earth around the sun. This means that Islamic holidays vary from year to year relative to the solar calendar.

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Islamic dates are written with the letters A.H. after them, which means Anno Hejiri ("years after the flight"). This distinguishes Islamic years from Christian years, which are followed by the letters A.D., meaning Anno Domini ("years after the birth of the Lord"). The year 2000 A.D. corresponds to the year 1420 A.H.