The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan this year will be starting towards the middle of May and ending towards the middle of June with the festive celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam and obligatory on all adult Muslims with some exceptions such as for the sick, the elderly and the traveller.
During this month which lasts 29 or 30 days, Muslims fast during the day-light hours from dawn to sunset abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sex.
Fasting is intended to bring about God-consciousness, self-control, inculcate moderate eating habits and develop empathy for those who are less fortunate to have enough to eat.
Iftar or ‘the meal for breaking the fast’ at sunset is shared between family and friends. Muslims open their homes to share Iftar with their friends and neighbours of all faiths and no faith.
Greetings of “Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem” are exchanged during this month, wishing for a “blessed” and generous Ramadan.
Islamic dates are subject to the visibility of the new moon and variation can take place if this sighting of the crescent is done globally, regionally or locally.
The following possible scenarios can occur this year:
Global Sighting (or prediction of sighting): Ramadan (30 days) starting Wednesday 16 May and ending Thursday 14 June with Eid on Friday 15 June.
Regional Sighting: Ramadan (29 days) starting Thursday 17 May and ending Thursday 14 June with Eid on Friday 15 June.
Local Sighting: Ramadan (30 days) starting Thursday 17 May and ending Friday 15 June with Eid on Saturday 16 June.