World

Faithful around the world celebrate the first night of Ramadan

Muslims around the globe began celebrating the holy month worldwide, starting 30 days of fasting and other traditions.

A man observes the moon through a telescope next to the Dome of Rock Mosque at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean
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The world's more than 1.5 billion followers of Islam have begun celebrating the holy month of Ramadan — the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, beginning weeks of fasting as they start off by observing the crescent moon. 

AP

The faithful, from Jerusalem, to Indonesia and nearly every part of the globe, perform traditions including the extra lengthy "tarawih" prayer, in observance. 

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AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara

At the Astronomical Observatory of the Muhammadiyah University of North Sumatra in Medan, Indonesia, staff members and others wet outside using telescopes — like in other parts of the world —  to search the sky for the new moon that signals the start of the Islamic holy fasting month.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

In the Islamic tradition, Laylat al-Qadr, or the "Night of Power," will be observed during one of the last ten nights of Islam's most holy month. This usually falls on the 27th night. It is said to have been when the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad.

In Beirut, Lebanon, shop owners displayed various symbols of the holy month, like traditional lanterns that worshipers buy to decorate their homes reminding them of the tradition. 

AP Photo/Fareed Khan

In Pakistani, a man in the low lying southern coastal city of Karachi cleaned a mosque in preparation for worshipers who will come to pray during the month. An overwhelming 96.3 % of Pakistan's population is Muslim, with 85-90% if those adhering to the religion's Sunni sect. 

According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, members of the Shi’a Muslim, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh communities in Pakistan continue to experience "increasingly aggressive" discrimination there. 

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

In Britain, Ramadan lights were installed in Central London to celebrate Ramadan. Various symbols of the religious month of observance and contemplation flickers brightly above the city's Piccadilly Circus. It will be the 2nd year that Ramadan Lights have been displayed in the heart of the British capital. 

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan was there to inaugurate the first illumination of the lighted display. They will shine bright over the city's streets and footpaths each night for 30 nights until the holy month ends on Eid Al Fitr.