A Guide to Ramadan in NYC: Traditions, Food, Fasting, and More!


Islam’s holy month is nearly here! From May 5 – June 4 fast, feast, and celebrate Ramadan with friends and family! Meant to commemorate the moment the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad, Ramadan reminds Muslims to ground themselves in their faith. With dinners, discussions, demonstrations, and more, discover what Ramadan is all about this month! 

Cordoba House Ramadan Family Iftar

A night of spirituality and joy for Muslims of all ages, Arab America is hosting their 1st Fundraising Family Iftar in New York City this month! At the Cordoba House Ramadan Family Iftar, there will be entertainment and educational activities for the kids, a talk by Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf for the adults, a time for prayer and a Middle Eastern meal to break the daylong fast for all! Open to anyone who wants to experience a night of Ramadan with a community, this event allows participants to observe the holiday together as well as raise funds for the Cordoba House Sunday School! $25 – $100, 6 – 9:30 pm, May 11. Studio Arte 265 W 37th St. New York, NY, arabamerica.com.

NYC Interfaith Iftar

Reflect! Dine! Pray! Celebrate Ramadan with your Muslim neighbors and friends with The Interfaith Center of New York.  At this interfaith Iftar, there will be multi-faith prayers and a reflection from Amnesty International Board Member Rana Abdelhamid. After, guests will get to share a meal, conversation, and for Muslim participants, a Maghrib prayer time. Free, 7 – 9 pm, May 13. Cadman Plaza Park North Lawn, by Gaynor Memorial Brooklyn, NY, eventbrite.com

Obtaining the Secrets of Ramadan

Want to make the most of your Ramadan? Make the trek to MECCA, the Muslim Education and Converts Center of America, on May 5. Hosting their first event with Ustadh Tariq Ameer, MECCA invites guests to come and discover what Ramadan is all about. Come out to discover the secrets of Ramadan, how to obtain them, and what you can do to make this Ramadan the best Ramadan ever! Free, 5:30 – 8 pm, May 5. 12 E 32nd St 2nd Floor, New York, NY, meccacenter.com.

New York Ramadan: Muslim Life on the Lower East Side

Ever wonder about the lives of your Muslim coworkers and neighbors? Ever wonder about their story and their background? Wonder no longer! With the International Social Policy and Understanding’s (IPSU) project, Muslims for American Progress (MAP) shares Muslim stories, acquires hard facts, and quantifies contributions they have made to society. Come out to the Lower East Side to hear from Muslims who work in education, the arts, and learn how they have shaped the neighborhood culturally and socially. Free, 6:30 – 8 pm, May 16. Tenement Museum, 2nd floor 103 Orchard St. New York, NY, ipsu.org

Eid al-Fitr

Explore topical museum collections. Learn about the cultural traditions of Muslim New Yorkers. Discover the art of Arabic calligraphy with local artists. And, maybe even leave with a mehndi tattoo! (Don’t worry, it’s temporary!) Celebrate the end of Ramadan with the Museum of the City of New York! Free with museum admission, 11 am – 2 pm, June 4. 1220 5th Ave. New York, NY, www.mcny.org.

Interfaith Iftar with MALA in Support of UNICEF USA

A time of kindness, hospitality, and solidarity. This Ramadan, reflect on these values! Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA) invites anyone who cares to come out for an interfaith Iftar to celebrate with MALA in support of UNICEF USA! Help spread the message of hope through this communal experience and help raise proceeds to aid UNICEF humanitarian work in Yemen! $25, 7 – 9 pm, May 31. WeWork 79 Madison Ave, New York, NY, eventbrite.com

Interfaith Iftar Dinner

Break the fast with an Iftar dinner! Serving Halal and Kosher food, the King’s Bay Y invites Jews and Muslims alike to share an evening meal together! With both Halal and Kosher food, come out to the Turkish Cultural Center in Brooklyn for an Interfaith Iftar Dinner this May! Free, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, May 16. KINGS BAY Y 3495 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY, eventbrite.com

Ramadan Dinner and Panel Discussion

With panelists, speakers, and recently returned refugees, get a glimpse into the lives of refugees. This Ramadan, learn about the crisis and the burdens refugees bear. Through dinner and discussion, discover how you and your family can help these people in need! Free, 7 – 9 pm, May 9. Union Theological Seminary 3041 Broadway New York, NY, eventbrite.com