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A Palestinian man points towards the moon in its Crescent form in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. — AFP

In pictures: Muslims across the world welcome holy month of Ramazan

The world's nearly 1.8 billion Muslims began Ramazan on Wednesday.
Updated May 17, 2018 03:27pm

Muslims throughout the world are observing the month of Ramazan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn until dusk.

The world's nearly 1.8 billion Muslims began Ramazan on Wednesday, the holy month of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayers. It is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) during that month.

Indonesian Muslims pray during the start of the holy month of Ramazan at the Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh, Aceh province. — AFP
Indonesian Muslims pray during the start of the holy month of Ramazan at the Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh, Aceh province. — AFP

Indonesian Muslims pray during the start of the holy month of Ramazan at the Al Akbar Mosque in Surabaya, East Java province. — AFP
Indonesian Muslims pray during the start of the holy month of Ramazan at the Al Akbar Mosque in Surabaya, East Java province. — AFP

Pakistani vendors prepare vermicelli for customers ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan in Karachi. — AFP
Pakistani vendors prepare vermicelli for customers ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan in Karachi. — AFP

Pakistani Muslims buy dates at a market ahead of Ramazan. — AFP
Pakistani Muslims buy dates at a market ahead of Ramazan. — AFP

A Pakistani man looks at prayer caps at a roadside stall ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan in Lahore. — AFP
A Pakistani man looks at prayer caps at a roadside stall ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan in Lahore. — AFP

Pakistani Muslims attend a special "Taraweeh" evening prayer on the first day of Ramazan at the Grand Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. — AFP
Pakistani Muslims attend a special "Taraweeh" evening prayer on the first day of Ramazan at the Grand Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. — AFP

Pakistani Muslims attend a special "Taraweeh" evening prayer on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan at a mosque in Karachi. — AFP
Pakistani Muslims attend a special "Taraweeh" evening prayer on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan at a mosque in Karachi. — AFP

Pakistani vendors arrange traditional vermicelli for the month of Ramazan, in Hyderabad, Pakistan on Wednesday. — AP
Pakistani vendors arrange traditional vermicelli for the month of Ramazan, in Hyderabad, Pakistan on Wednesday. — AP

Pakistanis wash the courtyard of the historical Badshahi Mosque in preparation for the month of Ramazan in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday. — AP
Pakistanis wash the courtyard of the historical Badshahi Mosque in preparation for the month of Ramazan in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday. — AP

An Indian Muslim vendor sells dry food on the eve of the month of Ramazan at a market in Guwahati. — AFP
An Indian Muslim vendor sells dry food on the eve of the month of Ramazan at a market in Guwahati. — AFP

Iranian cleric Mohammad Hossein Dehsorkhi looks through binoculars for the new moon that signals the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramazan, at the Imam Ali observatory about 45 kilometres outside the holy city of Qom, south of the capital Tehran, Iran on Wednesday. - AP
Iranian cleric Mohammad Hossein Dehsorkhi looks through binoculars for the new moon that signals the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramazan, at the Imam Ali observatory about 45 kilometres outside the holy city of Qom, south of the capital Tehran, Iran on Wednesday. - AP

A group of people break their fast on the first day of the fasting month of Ramazan, on an old fortress overlooking the historic center of Sarajevo, Bosnia. — AP
A group of people break their fast on the first day of the fasting month of Ramazan, on an old fortress overlooking the historic center of Sarajevo, Bosnia. — AP

A Bosnian Muslim man loads fireworks mortar, in old town of Sarajevo. Percussion round fired in sunset marks the end of daily fasting, every day during the Islamic holy month of Ramazan. — AFP
A Bosnian Muslim man loads fireworks mortar, in old town of Sarajevo. Percussion round fired in sunset marks the end of daily fasting, every day during the Islamic holy month of Ramazan. — AFP

Bosnian Ramazan gunner Smail Krivic fires a round from his firework cannon to signal the end of fast in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Wednesday. —AP
Bosnian Ramazan gunner Smail Krivic fires a round from his firework cannon to signal the end of fast in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Wednesday. —AP

A Bosnian Muslim couple sits on the ground overlooking the city and share a pizza, at the end of daily fasting on the first day of the holly month of Ramazan, in Sarajevo on May 16. — AFP
A Bosnian Muslim couple sits on the ground overlooking the city and share a pizza, at the end of daily fasting on the first day of the holly month of Ramazan, in Sarajevo on May 16. — AFP

An Iraqi vendor restocks his chocolate shop in the central holy city of Najaf. — AFP
An Iraqi vendor restocks his chocolate shop in the central holy city of Najaf. — AFP

Muslim worshippers read the Quran at Abdul-Qadir al-Gailani mosque in Baghdad, Iraq on Wednesday. — AP
Muslim worshippers read the Quran at Abdul-Qadir al-Gailani mosque in Baghdad, Iraq on Wednesday. — AP

An Afghan vendor prepares prayer beads for sale ahead of the holy month of Ramazan at Pul-e-Khishti Mosque in Kabul. — AFP
An Afghan vendor prepares prayer beads for sale ahead of the holy month of Ramazan at Pul-e-Khishti Mosque in Kabul. — AFP

A vendor makes sweets at a traditional factory ahead of the month of Ramazan in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday. — AP
A vendor makes sweets at a traditional factory ahead of the month of Ramazan in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday. — AP

A Palestinian youth waves a sparkler next a mosque in Gaza City on May 16. — AFP
A Palestinian youth waves a sparkler next a mosque in Gaza City on May 16. — AFP

Palestinians shop at a market in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. — AFP
Palestinians shop at a market in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. — AFP

A Palestinian boy sells "Qatayef", traditional pancakes that are popular during the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan, at a market in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. — AFP
A Palestinian boy sells "Qatayef", traditional pancakes that are popular during the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan, at a market in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. — AFP

A Palestinian street vendor sells food in Gaza City on May 16. — AFP
A Palestinian street vendor sells food in Gaza City on May 16. — AFP

Palestinians shop at a market in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip a day before the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramazan. — AFP
Palestinians shop at a market in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip a day before the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramazan. — AFP

A Palestinian boy shops for a traditional lantern for the holy month of Ramazan, at the main market in Gaza City on Wednesday. — AP
A Palestinian boy shops for a traditional lantern for the holy month of Ramazan, at the main market in Gaza City on Wednesday. — AP

Palestinians shop for the holy month of Ramazan at the main market in Gaza City on Wednesday. — AP
Palestinians shop for the holy month of Ramazan at the main market in Gaza City on Wednesday. — AP

Picture shows the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi as Muslims prepare to start the holy fasting month of Ramazan. — AFP
Picture shows the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi as Muslims prepare to start the holy fasting month of Ramazan. — AFP

A picture taken on May 16, 2018 shows people walking at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi as Muslims start the holy fasting month of Ramazan. — AFP
A picture taken on May 16, 2018 shows people walking at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi as Muslims start the holy fasting month of Ramazan. — AFP

People break their fast on May 16 near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey during the first day of the holy month of Ramazan. — AFP
People break their fast on May 16 near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey during the first day of the holy month of Ramazan. — AFP

People break their fast on May 16 near Taksim Square in Istanbul, during the first day of the holy month of Ramazan. — AFP
People break their fast on May 16 near Taksim Square in Istanbul, during the first day of the holy month of Ramazan. — AFP

A Turkish family breaks the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey on May 16, 2018. — AFP
A Turkish family breaks the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey on May 16, 2018. — AFP

People break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP
People break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP

People break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP
People break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP

People break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP
People break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP

A Turkish girl stands as people begin to break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP
A Turkish girl stands as people begin to break the fast on the first day of Ramazan in front of Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 16. — AFP

Boys look up as Muslim worshippers pray the first Taraweeh evening prayer on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan at the Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand, Johannesburg. — AFP
Boys look up as Muslim worshippers pray the first Taraweeh evening prayer on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan at the Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand, Johannesburg. — AFP

Muslim women pray the first Taraweeh evening prayer on the first day of Ramazan at the Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand, Johannesburg on May 16. — AFP
Muslim women pray the first Taraweeh evening prayer on the first day of Ramazan at the Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand, Johannesburg on May 16. — AFP