May 17, 2018 07:06 Asia/Tehran

The Turkish along with the other Muslim countries started fasting as the Holy month of Ramadan begins.

Muslims in Turkey  began fasting on the morning of May 16 for the holy month of Ramadan, when most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset. 

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual intercourse from the Sahar meal (the meal before dawn) at sunrise to the Iftar meal (the main meal of the fasting day) at sunset. It will end on the evening of June 14 after 30 days.

Fasting is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion.

Throughout the course of the month of fasting, Muslims are urged to perform extra prayers, recite the Quran, give alms to the poor, and refrain from misbehavior. Ramadan ends with the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

During Ramadan, local municipalities across Turkey organize mass public Iftar meals—free meals consisting of soup, stew, pudding and juice—while street performances, such as clown and shadow puppet shows are put on for locals.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Health Ministry informed citizens about the importance of a balanced and light meal for those fasting during Ramadan.

In a written statement issued on May 14, the ministry suggested citizens not to skip sahar Meal , as otherwise those fasting would be refraining from food and water for 20 hours, instead of 16 hours.