Saudi Arabia and
that Shaban, the
last lunar month
will start on
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan will thus begin
either on Saturday, May 27 or on Sunday, May 28,
depending on moon sighting on the eve of May 27.
Muslim lunar months last between 29 and 30 days,
depending on sighting of the moon on the 29th night of
each month. If the moon is not visible the month will
last 30 days.
By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan comes 10 to
11 days earlier each year. Last year, the first day of
Ramadan was on June 6, 2016.
In order to declare the beginning of Ramadan, Saudi
Arabia and other Muslim-majority countries depend on
the testimonies of local moon sighters. The Judicial High
Court then makes a decision on when Ramadan begins.
For Muslims, Ramadan is the month in which the first
verses of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, were revealed to
the Prophet Muhammad over 1,400 years ago.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating,
drinking, smoking and s*x from sunrise to sunset. This
fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God
and to remind them of the suffering of those less
Ramadan fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam,
along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer,
charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
In Muslim-majority countries, offices are required by law
to reduce working hours and many restaurants are
closed during daylight hours.
At the end of Ramadan, after 29 or 30 days, Muslims
celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Eid al-Fitr in Arabic
literally means “festival of breaking the fast”.
Depending on the actual start date of Ramadan and
moon sightining on the 29th night of Ramdan, the Eid
al-Fitr this year will fall between Sunday, June 25 and
Tuesday, June 27.