The holy month of Ramadan begins on Saturday for about 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. During the 30 days, Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk — abstaining from food, drink and acts or thoughts considered immoral. The month is also a time for Muslims to give to charity, spend time with family and become closer to God.
During Ramadan, Muslims wake before dawn to eat a light meal called suhoor, and they break their fast at sunset with a meal known as iftar. Different cultures around the world observe Ramadan in different ways but iftar is usually a big social event involving friends, family and the community.
Daylight hours also vary widely for those fasting, depending on where they live and what season it is. When Ramadan falls in the northern hemisphere’s summer months, like this year, Muslims in Europe will have to wait until around 9:00 p.m. to break fast, several hours after those in Southeast Asia can begin eating.
TIME spoke to several young Muslims from across the globe who shared what Ramadan means to them.