Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is considered as one of the pillars of Islam. It lasts for 30 days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next. Although Ramadan begins and ends on a different date each year, the end date is decided depending on the sighting of the Shawwal moon.
Date and timings
This year Ramadan began on April 23 and shall continue till May 23. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan. This year, Eid shall be celebrated on May 24. However, it all depends on the date when the moon is sighted.
Islamic holidays depend on the lunar calendar and not the Gregorian calendar. During this time period of one month, the practice of fasting is called roza, breaking the fast in the morning is called suhur and the meal had in the evening is called iftar. Iftar is when people have their meals in the evening after having fasted for the entire day.
Impact of COVID-19
This year, Eid shall take place when the world is amid a global crisis- Covid-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has instructed that people should maintain social distancing at all times for their own safety and the safety of others. They also said that this should be practised during the holy month of Ramadan.
“Practice physical distancing by strictly maintaining a distance of at least 1 metre (3 feet) between people at all times,” the interim guidance of the WHO said, which was titled- ‘Safe Ramadan practices in the context of the COVID-19’.
Coronavirus can be transmitted due to close contact between people and it spreads through respiratory droplets and if someone comes in contact with contaminated surfaces.