KATHMANDU, March 24: Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, has begun from today.
This ninth month of the lunar calendar is when Muslims observe Roza (fasting) --abstaining from food, water from sunrise to sunset. Roza is mandatory for all Muslims, except the children and the ill.
The holy month is divided into three parts including the first ten days of good times known as Barakkat, followed by Rahamat - ten days of love and care - and the final ten days referred to as Magafirat, forgiveness from Allah.
Those observing Roza keep their body pure and recite the holy Quran five times a day regularly. The festival is believed to promote self-discipline, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity.
Ramadan ends with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month.