Lucknow, Aug 31 : Muslims geared up for fasting month of Ramadan and began shopping on Sunday.
Muslims all over India are expected to begin observing fasts on Monday or Tuesday.
Ramadan begins in the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar, and the starting date is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon in each country concerned, or by astrological calculation, often dividing Islamic countries and sects over the exact dates.
"We prepare and shop for at least eight-ten days in advance and later arrange according to the requirement. We also try and do good things to our neighbours and relatives in the month," said Mohammad Ashfaq, a resident.
As the food business witnesses boom in the holy month, restaurant owners feel that their workload increases as the sale increases during this time of the year.
"We start preparing three months ahead. Our preparations are almost complete and the remaining would be done today. We wait the entire year for this month. Work load is so much that we work for nearly 18 hours a day and sleep in the rest. We enjoy doing it," said Yahya Rizwan, a restaurant owner.
During Ramadan, Muslims around the world refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, thinking impure thoughts or having sex during daylight hours, a period aimed at spiritual cleansing. Activity during Ramadan peaks between "iftar", the breaking of the fast at sunset, a "suhur" the last meal of the day before sunrise.