Ramadan is an annual Islamic tradition based on the lunar calendar, which means the dates of the period change somewhat every year. In 2012, it will begin late July. Participation in Ramadan consists most famously of a daily fast, from sun up to sun down. Fasting is a hallmark of the Abrahamic faiths and Ramadan is considered to be the holiest month for Muslims worldwide. Fasting during this month is one of the pillars of Islam and is fundamental to the faith. Although there are many reasons for the fast, the most prominent is to remember the poor and appreciate what one has. This year Ramadan is expected to begin around July 20th and last until roughly August 19th. Fasting from sunrise to sunset is not an easy task, especially in the heat and long days of July. Muslim business owners across the nation, as well as in the Twin Cities, will be making adjustments to their normal business hours and structural operations to accommodate for their hungry employees. The Muslim-owned businesses that we spoke to in Seward do not plan to make changes to their hours, but if you find a local establishment closed earlier then usual, it is a safe guess that this is due to Ramadan.