The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual introspection and quietude -- but it is also a time of excess and revelry. Celebrated every year during the lunar month in which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, Ramadan brings with it a change of pace in the Muslim world. During the daylight hours, restaurants are shuttered and work grinds to a halt, but at night whole cities come alive. Iftar, the traditional breaking of the fast, is perhaps the most recognizable Ramadan ritual. Often held on sidewalks and neighborhood thoroughfares, iftars are known for their colorful decorations, lavish dinner dishes, and candied sweets. Above, a woman buys sweets in preparation for Ramadan in Baghdad's Shorja Market on July 18.