Ramadan likely to begin on March 23: UAE’s International Astronomical Center

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The holy month of Ramadan will most likely begin on March 23, the UAE’s International Astronomical Center said.

Countries that marked the beginning of Shaaban on February 21 will look for the crescent moon, which marks the beginning of holy month, on March 21 but they will not be able to sight it because the moon will set before the sun, the center said.



“These countries will hence wrap up the month of Shaaban on [Wednesday March 22], and March 23 will be the first day of Ramadan,” it added.

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Meanwhile, countries that marked the beginning of Shaaban on February 22, like Iran, Oman and Jordan, may be able to sight the crescent moon on March 22.

“Countries in the eastern part of the world will be able to sight it using a telescope. Countries in Central Asia, East Europe and South of Africa may be able to see it with the naked eye while it may be relatively easy for countries in West Asia, most of Africa, West Europe and the Americas to see it with the naked eye,” the center said.



“Most of these countries will thus also mark the first day of Ramadan on March 23,” it added.

The center, however, noted that India, Bangladesh and Pakistan may not be able to sight the crescent moon on March 22 and will hence mark the first day of Ramadan on March 24.

The start of Ramadan changes every year based on the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 lunar months totaling either 354 or 355 days. This causes the fasting month to move up to 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar.

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