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AMID THE pillars of an Indonesian mosque, a man reads while waiting for sunset, when he can break his Ramadan fast.

From dawn to dusk during each year’s monthlong Ramadan period, devout Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking or smoking. It’s one of the holiest times in the Islamic calendar, commemorating the revelation of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text.

Ramadan, based on the Islamic lunar calendar, lasts until July 27. After its days of fasting and prayer, joyful celebrations and feasting erupt in cities, towns and villages worldwide, including in the city of Banda Aceh, where this solitary reader rested.

Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at

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