This month is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which for some 1.6 billion Muslims around the world means fasting through the day, special prayers in the evening, and finally an Iftar meal to break their fast after sunset.
The world's Muslim population is diverse: As we can see from the array of mouthwatering Iftar meals out there. The PEW Research Center says the majority of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific Region. Here's the breakdown on a map they created based on 2010 data:
Malaysian treats from the Malacca Straits:
And from all over Malaysia, really:
London dishes out a lamb feast, hot dogs, and more:
Pide and chillies in Turkey:
Chicken and mashed potatoes in Australia:
More from Sydney:
Chocolate sushi in Dubai:
Sometimes, a burger hits the spot (also in Dubai):
And in Indonesia:
In Hyderabad, India:
And meanwhile, in Texas:
Traditionally, Iftar is taken with family or friends and can start with three dates, which is the way the Prophet Muhammad is said to have broken his fast. The Guardian writes:
"Fasting, or sawm in Arabic, literally means “to refrain” – and not only is it abstaining from food, drink and sex, but also actions such as smoking cigarettes, talking about others behind their backs, or using foul language.
Fasting does not mean Muslims retreat from their daily routine, rather they are encouraged to continue as normal in their work and usual activities. In fact, this is where the challenge of patience and endurance comes in. Muslims believe fasting is not merely a physical ritual, but is primarily a time for reflection and spiritual recharging."
Read their full guide to Ramadan here.