a Lent or Ramadan of abstinence — both Lent (Christian) and Ramadan (Muslim) are periods of fasting that last for about forty days. During Lent, Christians prepare for the celebration of Easter through fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Before the Second Vatican Council (1960s), Catholics were required to take only one meal a day and to abstain from eating meat on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent.. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar when it is believed that the Koran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation". It is during this month that Muslims fast. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation.

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Last modified 29 April 2002