*Originally "Ramadama" is the name of the ninth month in the Arab world.
It is, above all, a month of fasting.
Fasting was not born with Islam. The abstaining from eating and drinking is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, preceding the prophet Muhammad.
Thus, in the Bible, it is mentioned that Queen Esther asked the Jews to fast for three days before asking her husband to spare the Jews.
According to the New Testament, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert. Referring to this episode, Christianity has a fasting period of 40 days called "Lent".
Today, the fasting period of practicing Catholics lasts from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday.
The start of Ramadan generally depends on local observation of the moon crescent, but others choose the calculation of the new moon or the statement of Saudi Arabia to determine the start of the fasting period.
The three main prohibitions of Ramadan are: eat, drink and have sex,
It is possible to swallow one's own saliva, but not the water with which mouth was rinsed.
Practitioners can go swimming or take a shower, as long as they do not swallow water.
Alcohol-based perfume is prohibited.
Nail biting is allowed as long as nails are clean.
Dates fruit are recommended after breaking of the fast, provided they do not come from Israel.
Travelers, pregnant or nursing or menstruating women are allowed to stop fasting.
Practitioners usually gain weight during this period.
Punishments are particularly heavy year Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Start of Ramadan (may be changed to the nearest day)
Sunday June 30 2014
(the date changes according to the year)