On 6 June, Ramadan, the month of fasting, also begins for roughly four million Muslims in Germany. For four weeks they should not eat or drink from dawn until sunset. That is very hard during the summer months, because the fast lasts for up to 17 hours a day – making it especially difficult for the roughly three-quarters of Muslims in Germany who work or study. However, German schools, universities and workplaces make allowances for this as far as possible. For example, school students do not necessarily have to participate in sports lessons. And employees can make use of flexible working hours in most companies.
The rules of Ramadan are observed fully by nearly 60% of all Muslims in Germany and partially by a further 20%. These numbers are based on a representative survey carried out by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in 2008. A new survey is currently being carried out, but the results will not be available until 2017. After one month of fasting, Ramadan ends with the “festival of breaking of the fast”. It lasts three days and is also known as the Sugar Feast because of the many sweet dishes that are eaten during this time. This year it begins on 5 July.
Record set by Ramadan greeting
Incidentally, a greeting from the Federal Government for Ramadan set new Facebook records in 2015. Within a few days, the post attracted 40,000 Likes, and over 10,000 people shared the message. “We have not had numbers like these before on our Facebook page,” said Government Spokesperson Steffen Seibert. He was very pleased at the positive response from Muslims and non-Muslims. “They saw exactly what we wanted to express: a sign of respect for faith,” added Seibert.