This is the weekend for...Preparations for Ramadan

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The Independent Online

Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, begins on Wednesday.

British Muslims are already bracing themselves for one of the most gruelling months of their year. Shopping trips this weekend will include the traditional fast "opener" of dates, Indian sweetmeats and sugary drinks such as Vimto.

Many Muslims will cancel their social engagements for the next 30 days to observe a period of prayer and quiet reflection before sunset, while some may even book time off work. Hotels may also enjoy a sudden influx of wealthy Muslim visitors from the Gulf region, who strategically plan their holiday month in the West to coincide with the strictly observed month of fasting in their home countries.

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