Today was a special day in our calendars - the Swedish National Day...
... coincided this year with the first day of Ramadan, the Holy Month.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar, based on the phases of the moon, whose 12 months add up to approximately 354 days. Therefore, the Islamic lunar calendar moves backward approximately 11 days each year in relation to the regular Gregorian calendar. So that means that the first day of the month of Ramadan also moves backward by about 11 days each year. Last year Ramadan started on the 18th of June.
So while I had our Swedish flags out to celebrate Sweden, and an extra 'Singoalla' cookie with my morning coffee and in the kids' lunch boxes, there was a quietly excited vibe around town here too.
Well, the start of Ramadan is not really "celebrated" as such, the big celebration takes part at the end of the fasting month (with the three day long Eid-Al-Fitr). Still, Ramadan is highly anticipated and preparations have been going on for months in the community.
The Ramadan timings have started at school, so for the last four weeks the kids only go to school 8.30-13.30, quite nice to wind down with some shorter days now that it's getting really hot.