Ramadan, also known as the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture, begins May 15 and concludes June 14 this year. During this month-long observance, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, abstain from pleasures, and pray to become closer to God. This is also a time when families come together and celebrate. Throughout New York City, there are a variety of events to attend in honor of Ramadan. Check out these eight activities throughout the greater New York area to help get you and your family in the Ramadan spirit.
May 12: MCN’s Ramadan Packathon
Join the Muslim Community Network as they hold their annual packathon, where they scoop, seal, and pack 10,000 meals for New Yorkers around the city to enjoy during Ramadan. The bags contain lentils, quinoa, rice, cumin, and pink Himalayan salt, and each bag contains 10 meals. This packathon is in partnership with the HUNGER VAN, where you can follow the van after completing the meal packaging to help distribute as well. All ages are welcome, and who wouldn’t want to start the month off on a charitable note? Free, 10:30am-1:30pm, Judson Memorial Church – Assembly Hall: 239 Thompson Street, eventbrite.com.
May 15: Ramadan Coloring Circle
Participate in this special edition of the Seward Park Library’s Crafternoon Series. This month, engage in the Ramadan Coloring Circle in honor of the Islamic holiday. The program is free for teens 12-18. All materials will be provided, so all you have to worry about is bringing yourself. Free, 4pm, Seward Park Library: 192 East Broadway, nypl.org
May 16: Ramadan Craft
In honor of the beginning of Ramadan, kick things off with a craft to celebrate the month of fasting and charity. Plus, as the month ends with the sighting of the moon, join the Tremont Library for the creation of a lunar craft as well. Free, 3pm, Tremont Library, 1866 Washington Avenue, Bronx, nypl.org.
May 18: Iftar/Shabbat Dinner and viewing of The Sarah Play
Join the NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee as they watch The Sarah Play, a story of three actors who struggle to tell the ancient story of Sarah and Hagar, the mothers of Isaac and Ishmael, through a modern lens. They draw from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions to determine which version gets told, but realize just how difficult it is since there are so many accounts of what happened. Following the play, there will be a meal for all to enjoy. The play starts at 7pm, so please arrive on time. Your ticket price includes both the play and meal so make sure to order your ticket in advance. For inquiries, email email@example.com. $25, 7-9:30pm, The 14th Street Y: 344 East 14th Street, eventbrite.com.
May 24: Brooklyn Community Iftar
In honor of the Islamic Relief USA’s 25th Anniversary, join them at their annual Iftar. Learn about their work and experiences while in the Middle East, including the current Syrian and Yemen Emergencies, in addition to the other great services they have provided to those in the North Africa. You will also get the opportunity to hear from a diverse group of guest speakers, such as Sh. Mohammad Elshinawy from IECPA, Sh. Mohamed Moussa from the Tri-State Imams Council, Khaled Lamada, chairman of the IRUSA Board, and Nazrul Islam, the Quran Recitation Imam at MCC. $25-$200, 7-10pm, Dyker Beach Golf Course Catering Hall: 1020 86th Street, Brooklyn, eventbrite.com.
June 2: NYC Fasting5k 2018
Get ready for the Ramadan event of the year as 10 cities and hundreds of athletes come together to embrace the spirit of the month through fasting, raising money, and building a community for good–in addition to taking part in the annual 5k event. This year, Fasting5k is joining forces with a variety of organizations that provide resources for youth safety against violence. Those participating in the event are asked to raise a minimum of $250 to benefit Fasting5k’s fundraising partner. $25-$100, 7-10pm, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, eventbrite.com.
June 11: Celebrate Eid with Henna Tattoos
Celebrate the end of Ramadan by getting Henna tattoos at the Queens Library at Woodhaven. All participants must have a signed permission slip from parents. Registration is not required. Free, 4-5pm, Queens Library at Woodhaven: 85-41 Forest Parkway, Woodhaven, queenslibrary.org.
June 16: Summer Reading Kick Off: Eid Celebration
Celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims throughout the world that marks the end of Ramadan. On this day, people everywhere hug and wish one another Eid Mubarak. It is a day of colorful attire, delicious food, lights, and jubilation. In this celebration at the Allerton Library, your child will have the opportunity to learn about this beautiful festival and its significance. Recommended for kids ages 4-10 years old. Space is limited to 20 kids only so make sure to arrive on time. Presented by The Culture Tree. Free, 2:30pm, Allerton Library: 2740 Barnes Avenue, Bronx, nypl.org