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  • Gabrielle Hendricks

Mount Celebrates Union of Easter and Ramadan

Gabrielle Hendricks

The seasons of Lent and Ramadan have recently come to an end. Students at the Mount observed both seasons. Even though Lent and Ramadan come from different faith traditions, they have striking similarities not only in time but in purpose and practice. 

Lent is a 40-day period that leads up to the Easter holiday in the Catholic and Christian tradition. It is a time of reverence and fasting for the Christian community.

Ramadan is a 30-day period that leads up to Eid al-Fitr in the Islamic tradition. Ramadan is also a time of reverence and fasting for the Muslim community.

Even though both Lent and Ramadan are both times of fasting, the fasting comes in different forms due to the difference in religious tradition and philosophy. For Christians, fasting from food is mainly done on Ash Wednesday and it is not full abstinence from food, just eating smaller meals and no meat. And on every Friday of Lent Christians do not eat meat but eat a normal amount of food.

Other forms of fasting during Lent for Christians include nonfood related abstinence, such as giving up social media, alcohol, swearing and other vices. The reason for abstaining from vices is to put more focus towards God and Jesus in preparation for Easter and the general faith journey.

For Muslims, fasting is full abstinence from food and water during the daylight hours. At every sundown during Ramadan Muslims can partake in eating any Halal (typically permitted) food. Muslims also strictly abstain from vices such as sexual relations and drinking during the daylight hours of Ramadan. Like Christians, Muslims take part in non-obligatory fasting from vices during Ramadan such as sacrificing their time to pray more and giving back to the community.

Even though Christianity and Islam have uniform, obligatory practices for Lent and Ramadan, every person has unique familial traditions and ways of celebrating the seasons. 

Catholic, Mount student, Isabelle Fornshill (C’24) shared what Lent means to her and the unique ways she practices. Fornshill views Lent as the 40 days that simulate Jesus’ time of fasting in the desert as he prepared for his crucifixion. She explained “We Catholics prepare ourselves with giving up something significant in our lives in preparation for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.” Fornshill’s insight of how Christians share in Jesus’ time of fasting and resisting temptation bring better perspective to the richness of the Lenten tradition.

Fornshill shared a cute tradition that her family participates in for the Easter holiday. She explained how her mother creates an Easter egg hunt for her and her brother even though they are 21 and 25. “She [mother] gives out a golden egg that either has money or our favorite candy, I enjoy the candy.”

An interesting aspect of fasting is what people break their fast with. Every Friday Fornshill likes to break her fast with a cheeseburger from Five Guys.

Fornshill’s experience of Lent and Easter gives perspective to how fun and unique a Catholic can be with celebrating the season.

Muslim Mount Student, Myriam Oumarou (C’25) shared what Ramadan means to her and how it is celebrating at a Catholic university.

Oumarou said that Ramadan is “A time of self-reflection, self-discovery, a time to get in touch with your faith journey and to give yourself to God and others.” Oumarou’s view of Ramadan is very spiritual and insightful. 

Oumarou’s favorite aspect of Ramadan is the community. “A lot of people come together from all walks of life.”

Oumarou shared that it can be difficult to celebrate and find other Muslims on a Catholic campus. However, she said the Mount puts in effort to be accommodating and that the University is working on creating a MSA (Muslim Student Association) on campus.

She also talked about Iftar, which is a time once a week for the community to come together. “It is a time for people to come together, break bread and see how everybody is doing.” Oumarou also gave more insight into what Eid looks like. “Eid is at the end, and it is a big celebration, we go to mosque and exchange presents, it’s really fun.”

Oumarou shared that her favorite meal to break her fast with is soup, and that dates are also a common food for Muslims to break their fast with.

Fornshill’s and Oumarou’s experiences of Lent and Ramdan are examples of how special and shared the two traditions are and give Mount students views of what the traditions can look like.


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