Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar. During this month, Muslims restrain from eating between sunrise and sunset. This fasting practice is one of the five pillars of Islam, and is used to strengthen self-control, learn and experience the suffering of others, and to attain greater closeness to God. At the end of the great fast, Muslims celebrate with a feast called Eid al-Fitr. This marks the first day of the month Shawwal, however the feast can last more than one day.
Muslims celebrate Ramadan for three main reasons:
1) The Quran was revealed to humanity during this month.
2) The gates of Heaven are opened.
3) The gates of Hell are closed.
Gulevich, Tanya. Understanding Islam and Muslim Traditions: An Introduction to the Religious Practices, Celebrations, Festivals, Observances, Beliefs, Folklore, Customs, and Calendar System of the World’s Muslim Communities, including an Overview of Islamic History and Geography. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2004. Print.
To read Understanding Islam and Muslim Traditions, please see attached document.