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As Ramadan fasts end, the feasts begin

By Associated Press ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-22 07:35:59

For millions of Muslims abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, that first sip of water after a grueling fast is by far the most anticipated moment of the day.

In some parts of the world, Muslims fast for more than 20 hours a day, depending on when the sun rises and sets in their city. It is a physical and mental exercise meant to draw worshippers closer to God and increase their empathy for the poor.

But after a long day of fasting, the moment of payoff finally comes in the form of iftar, the evening meal. For more than 1,400 years, many Muslims have been breaking their fast in the same way the Prophet Muhammad did: with a handful of dates and a sip of water.

As Ramadan fasts end, the feasts begin

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