Skip to Main Content
Bradford College
Library Online
Library User Library Account

Culture and Wellbeing: Faith and belief

Guide to support events in the Library, College and the wider environment.
About Faith and Belief
Everyone has the right to their own personal religious observance, whether that be a close identification with a faith or not identifying with any religion at all.
Bradford, and West Yorkshire, are privileged to be made up of a diverse mix of communities, each of which brings with it a rich and varied collection of religions and customs.
About Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims as the holy month of fasting. This means that during Ramadan, Muslims avoid any food and drink from sunrise to sunset each day during Ramadan. Dates are traditionally eaten to break one’s fast at sunset.
Ramadan is one of the holiest periods of the year because fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting is considered to increase gratitude, self-discipline, and taqwa (which translates to ‘closeness to God’). Therefore, Muslims are encouraged to and often fast throughout the year.
Fasting is also seen in other Abrahamic faiths, for example during the period of Lent in Christianity.
Some people are exempt from fasting if they are considered vulnerable, for example the elderly, the sick, travellers, and pregnant women.
The start of Ramadan changes each year, because the Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon. Ramadan starts when a new crescent moon is spotted, and finishes when the moon completes one cycle.
The end of Ramadan is celebrated by Eid al-Fitr (also spelled as Eid ul-Fitr).
About Easter
Easter is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, meaning the day he came back to life. This is believed to have happened 3 days after Jesus was crucified by the Romans. Easter is important for Christians because they believe that the resurrection of Jesus redeemed Christians from their sins.
Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting for Christians. This means that Christians are encouraged to make a sacrifice during Lent. Fasting is also seen on other Abrahamic faiths, for example the period of Ramadan in Islam.
Easter Day is at a different date each year because it is based on the lunar calendar, similar to the Muslim period of Ramadan.
Easter is celebrated over 1 week known as the Holy Week:
  • Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter Sunday), when Christians celebrate Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem.
  • Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter Day), when Christians celebrate the Last Supper, when Jesus ate with his disciples before his crucifixion.
  • Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday), when Christians believe Jesus was crucified. Christians honour the crucifixion of Jesus as his sacrifice for humankind.
  • Easter Sunday, when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected.
The origins of the Easter Bunny are unclear, but it is believed that this modern Easter mascot comes from rabbits being an ancient symbol of fertility and life, therefore representing the new life of Jesus at his resurrection.
Similarly, Easter eggs are thought to have come from eggs representing new life. Church leaders used to ban eating eggs during Holy Week, so any eggs that were laid during the week were decorated instead, spawning the modern Easter tradition of egg-decoration. Eventually, chocolate eggs were created to be eaten instead.