Ramadan 2021: When is it and what do you state on the very first day?

    Muslim couple drinking water for breaking Ramadan fasting

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    Ramadan is a holy month commemorated by Muslims around the world (Picture: Getty Images)

    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is marked by Muslims worldwide as a month of day-time fasting.

    The annual observance of this special month is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and commemorates Muhammad’s first revelation.

    The Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles, unlike our Gregorian calendar, so the exact dates of Ramadan to change every year.

    When is Ramadan 2021 and how long does it last?

    This year, Ramadan will begin on the evening of Monday, April 12 and end on Tuesday, May 11, lasting for 30 days.

    Throughout the Ramadan period, adult Muslims of able body and mind start their day-time fasting before sunrise with a pre-dawn meal called ‘Suhur’.

    This includes abstaining from eating, drinking, and sexual intimacy until sunset.

    Many observers also choose to stay away from smoking, taking medicine, and chewing gum during this time window.

    Muslim family during holy month of Ramadan

    Members of a Muslim household will gather at Suhur and Iftar to start and break their fast, respectively (Picture: Getty Images)

    Then, in the evening, it is traditional to have a joyous breaking of the fast with your family or community during Iftar.

    Those who are acutely or chronically ill, diabetic, menstruating or breastfeeding do not have to fast, as well as children who haven’t hit puberty yet and the elderly.

    During this time, studying the Quran, donating money to the poor, and committing more time to prayers are encouraged.

    The month of fasting will be celebrated on May 12, when Eid al-Fitr meaning ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ takes place.

    It will see Muslims host great feasts, give gifts to children and spend time with their closest family and friends.

    What do you say on the first day of Ramadan?

    It is customary to wish someone a ‘Happy Ramadan’ by saying ‘Ramadan Mubarak’.

    Alternatively, you can say ‘Ramadan Kareem’ which translates into ‘Have a generous Ramadan’.

    Iftar is a traditionally joyous occasion that sees family members and friends come together (Picture: Getty Images)

    On the last day of Ramadan, to mark Eid al-Fitr, people will often say ‘Eid Mubarak’.

    These greetings can be used by Muslims and non-Muslims to salute those who are celebrating the holy month.

    How will Covid-19 influence Ramadan?

    There are different restrictions in place for communal worship in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    In England, citizens are allowed to participate in communal worship as long as they abide by rules such as remaining 2 meters away from members of other households and abstaining from sharing items like religious books or prayer mats.

    This means, as long as worshippers and communal worship settings abide by the lockdown rules, Muslims in England should be allowed to visit their local mosque.

    In Wales, although places of worship are open for communal service, the government encourages religious bodies to think about alternative ways of holding services, like online video gatherings.

    Indonesian family celebrating Eid al-Fitr and asking for forgiveness

    Following Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr is celebrated (Picture: Getty Images)

    Meanwhile, in Scotland, all places of worship are currently closed and can only open for broadcasting a service.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is hoping to provide more information about when and how the restrictions will be eased in Mid-March.

    And, lastly, in Northern Ireland, people are allowed to leave home to attend a place of worship as long as they follow health and safety guidelines.

    MORE : All the key dates for when lockdown restrictions will ease

    MORE : When is Eid 2021?

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