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.
People install torches that read “God” to welcome the holy fasting month, in Sleman, Indonesia, on Sunday.
(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.
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.
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.
(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.
(Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)
Children celebrate with songs and a traditional lantern in the Zeitun district of Gaza City on March 18.
(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 buy snacks at a wholesale market in Mosul, Iraq, on Wednesday.
Sellers at Kawran Bazar fish market wait for customers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday.
(Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)
Worshippers pray at the Grand Mosque on Tuesday in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, home of the holiest shrine in Islam.
(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.
(Achmad Ibrahim/The Associated Press)
Muslims attend an evening prayer outside Lakemba Mosque in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday.