Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Qur’an was revealed.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. Muslims believe that the Qur’an was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month, thus being prepared for gradual revelation by the Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open all the month and the gates of Hell (Jahannum) would be closed. The first three days of the next month, Shawwal, is spent in celebrations and is observed as the “Festival of Breaking Fast” or “Eid ul-Fitr”. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ramadan is not always in July or even during the summer. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Ramadan migrates throughout the seasons. The Islamic day starts after sunset. In 2012, Ramadan is expected to begin on July 19 or 20.
Easter is a Christian feast and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating Maundy and the Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The festival is referred to in English by a variety of different names including Easter Day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday.
Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on 20 March in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between 22 March and 25 April. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, in which the celebration of Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May.
Playrific curators have found media from across the web in celebration of Easter:
We have many pieces that help children understand the meaning of Easter as well as family activities and stories around Easter themes.