Ramadan 2018

17 May 2018

Is Ramadan time once again for our fellow Muslim friends, colleagues, relatives and clients near you who are celebrating this festive.

Let us share with you some stories -

Today is Ramadan day, but when exactly does it start and finish?

And why is there such uncertainty over the date of such an important religous festival?

The reason is that the Islamic calendar is based on the moon so dates move around from year to year.

And since the Gregorian calendar used by much of the western world is based on the sun, Islamic festivals slide back by around 11 days a year.

The dates for the start of each month in the Muslim calendar aren't known until there is a confirmed sighting of the first crescent of the new moon, known as Hilal - although some organisations stick to astronomical charts so they can plan ahead.

For Ramadan - the month of daily fasting - the agency says the new moon begins on Tuesday, May 15, but no naked eye sightings are likely anywhere in the world.

But for observers in the Middle East, North Africa and most of the United Kingdom except Scotland, easy sightings of the first crescent of the new moon should be possible on Wednesday, May 16.

That would then mean the current month of Sha'ban ends that day and the month of Ramadan starts on May 17.

People in Scotland will have to wait until Thursday, May 17, to see the moon, when it will be easy to see across the whole of the world.

As expected, the moon was not sighted in Saudia Arabia on Tuesday, May 15, so the current month then goes on for another day.

As a result, the first day of the month of Ramadan has been officially announced as Thursday, May 17.

information from BirminghamLive