Muslims gearing up for holy month of Ramadan

Ramadan is a holy time for Muslims around the world. From sundown on March 22 until sunrise on April 20, worshippers deepen their relationship with God through prayer, reflection and charity.

Ramadan begins March 22 and Eid al-Fitr holiday marks end of holy month on April 20

Cars pass under a string of lights in the shapes of crescent moons and stars on the eve of the first day of Ramadan.

Millions of Muslims are gearing up for the holy month of Ramadan, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset.

Here's a look at how worshippers around the world mark this time, which includes special prayers, blessings and fasting.

For the first time, London's Piccadilly Circus was illuminated with special lights on the eve of Ramadan.

A string of light installations in the shapes of stars and crescent moons

(Anna Gordon/Reuters)

People install torches that read "God" to welcome the holy fasting month, in Sleman, Indonesia, on Sunday.

Lit torches at night that outline the word God to welcome the holy month of Ramadan.

(Devi Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

A shopkeeper waits for customers at a stall inside a shopping mall decorated with festive lights in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday.

A shopkeeper at a stall is seen through strings of lights in green, yellow and purple colours ahead of Ramadan.

(Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Performing rukyah

Officials with Malaysia's Islamic Authority stand by a theodolite, which they use to perform rukyah, the sighting of the new moon to determine the start of the holy month of Ramadan, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Wednesday.

Officials use a theodolite to perform rukyah, the sighting of the new moon that signals the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

(Hasnoor Hussain/Reuters)

A woman checks a telescope before looking for the moon, near the Dome of the Rock shrine at the Aqsa mosque compound, in the old city of Jerusalem on Tuesday.

A woman looks into a telescope to check out the moon head of the start of Ramadan.

(Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Traditional lanterns, food

Ahead of Ramadan, people shop for a traditional lantern called a fanous at a market shop in Cairo's central Sayyida Zainab district on March 12.

People browse at a market stall selling traditional lanterns and foodstuff ahead of Ramadan.

(Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Children celebrate with songs and a traditional lantern in the Zeitun district of Gaza City on March 18.

A girl holds a small traditional lantern with her left hand, with a child watching in the background standing against a wall

(Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Volunteers stock donations at the Muslim Welfare Canada food bank in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday. Food bank donations, as well as usage, spike during the month of Ramadan, according to its director Shahid Khan.

People stock shelves at a food bank for Muslim clientele in Scarborough, Ont.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

People buy snacks at a wholesale market in Mosul, Iraq, on Wednesday.

People shopping at a wholesale market with bulk colourful nuts, chips and foods on display at a stall.

(Khalid Al-Mousily/Reuters)

Sellers at Kawran Bazar fish market wait for customers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday.

Sellers at a fish market with whole fish laid out in large round bowls

(Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

Special prayers

Worshippers pray at the Grand Mosque on Tuesday in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, home of the holiest shrine in Islam.

Worshippers in white garb pray at a mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

(Abdel Ghani Bashir/AFP/Getty Images)

Worshippers perform an evening prayer called tarawih, marking the first eve of the holy fasting month, at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Muslim women pack a mosque for an evening prayer called 'tarawih' that marks the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

(Achmad Ibrahim/The Associated Press)

Muslims attend an evening prayer outside Lakemba Mosque in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday.

Worshippers pray at a mosque

(Jaimi Joy/Reuters)

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