Ramadan is the 9th month in Islamic calendar / Hijri Calendar. The length of the Month varies between 29 and 30 days depending on the sighting of the Shawwal Moon which leads to the much awaited Islamic festival of Eid ul Fitr on the 1st of Shawwal.
This year, Ramadan is expected to begin at sundown on Monday, April 12, and end at sundown on Wednesday, May 12. The final evening of Ramadan consists of a celebration called Eid al-Fitr, when the traditional month-long fast is ended with a feast.
When the Holy fasting will begin this year?
The exact beginning and ending times of Ramadan are based on the sighting of the Moon. Specifically, Ramadan is said to begin at the first observance of the new Moon over Mecca, Saudi Arabia (or on a date pre-determined by astronomical calculation). Because of this, start and end dates are not set in stone and may vary by a day.
According to the astronomical predictions, Ramadan in India is expected to begin on April 12. However, the date may vary based on the sighting of the moon, which is expected on April 11. This means, the first fast will either be on April 11 or April 12. Similarly, Eid ul-Fitr will also be celebrated upon sighting of the new moon.
How is Ramadan observed?
Adults except for chronically ill patients, the elderly, pregnant/breastfeeding/menstruating women are expected to fast during the month of Ramzan.
The Roza (fasting) begins post sunrise and ends with sunset. Consumption of food and water is prohibited during this period. The days start with a prayer called Fajr (during dawn), followed by Zhuhr (midday), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (sunset) and conclude with the Isha (night). During this month, Muslims consume a pre-dawn meal called Suhur, and they break their fast by having Iftaar.
The auspicious month of Ramadan is a time for reflection, contemplation and celebration.