Ramadan starts today, and we’re helping you access the information you need to make the most of it. More than 1.7 billion Muslims around the world will observe this time of fasting, gratitude, giving back and connecting with family and friends. We’ve put together a few special experiences across Google to help, from relevant information right in Search to a new way to share Ramadan greetings, made using virtual reality technology.
Given people are fasting all day, and large families gather during Iftar, preparing delicious food for the people that matter in our lives takes on a new importance. During Ramadan, searches for recipes spike 50 percent higher and watch times on YouTube for cooking videos peak at almost 30 percent higher. You can now explore top recipes and YouTube cooking videos directly through the Ramadan search experience.
Cooking videos aren’t the only content people look for on YouTube. Ramadan is the key entertainment season in the Middle East and North Africa and users go to YouTube to catch up on their favorite TV drama or comedy shows. YouTube watch time for “TV series” rises a staggering 151 percent in Ramadan compared to any other period in the year. This Ramadan, you can keep up with the latest Ramadan dramas and comedies directly through Search.
For centuries, writers and artists have created calligraphic art—ranging from ceiling art and intricate passages to everyday items like cups. Now Qalam brings this timeless heritage of calligraphy online. We collaborated with nine artists from around the world to create more than 35 unique digital Ramadan and Eid greetings (with hundreds of customizable artwork possibilities) using Tilt Brush, a virtual reality app. You can customize and share your own 3D Ramadan card now at g.co/Qalam.
Featured artists include the internationally renowned eL Seed, whose designs incorporate calligraphy with graffiti (“calligraffiti”), Tolga Girgin from Turkey who mixes calligraphy and typography to challenge the sense of perspective with clever shading and Soraya Syed, one of the first female calligraphers in Pakistan. She’s created a classic Arabic calligraphy piece which places the traditional art form in a contemporary context. We’ve been inspired by what we’ve seen so far, and we’ll continue working with more artists to add more creations to Google Qalam over time.