Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday evening that Thursday, May 17 will be the first day of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drinks and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk, which is an exercise in self-restraint, intended to bring the faithful closer to God.
The UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Morocco were among the Arab countries that also declared the start of Ramadan on Thursday.
Internationally, Muslims in the United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Singapore will also begin fasting on Thursday.
Fasting the month of Ramadan is also one of the five pillars of Islam. It is followed by the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
As Muslims follow a lunar calendar, Eid al-Fitr starts when the new moon is spotted in the sky.
The celebrations begin when the fasting month of Ramadan ends and the following month of Shawwal begins.
How a Saudi moon-sighter specifies when the majority of Muslims fast for RamadanWhat is the difference between a moon-sighter and an astronomer and why does Saudi Arabia depend on them in when seeking the crescent before Ramadan? ... Art and culture
Why Saudi astronomers will find it harder to spot this year’s Ramadan crescentA number of Muslim scholars involved in the sighting of the Ramadan crescent have said it will be harder to spot this year. Astronomers look to the ... Art and culture
Dubai residents can watch the Ramadan cannon at two new spotsWith the holy month of Ramadan less than a week away, Dubai has established two new spots for the Iftar (breaking fast) cannon. The new spots are City ... Variety
Dubai to use drones to deliver pre-dawn meals to mosques during RamadanThe Community Development Authority in Dubai, which is launching the initiative Their Suhour is On Us during the holy month of Ramadan, will deliver ... Variety