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?
Ramadan 2021 is scheduled to begin in the evening on Tuesday, April 13 and will last for 30 days, ending on Wednesday, May 12.
The exact date depends on the sighting of the new moon, so can vary from country to country.
The end of the month of fasting is celebrated on May 13 when Eid al-Fitr – ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ – takes place.
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.
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.
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’.
On the last day of Ramadan, to mark Eid al-Fitr, people will often say ‘Eid Mubarak’.
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