How long is the world fasting this Ramadan? A country rundown

The period of time for those observing the Ramadan fast changes depending on geography, so while some fast for 21 hours, others fast for 9.5.

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The holy month of Ramadan is set to start on June 18, with the number of fasting hours varying by country depending on the period of time between sunrise and sunset, which changes subject to latitude and longitude.

Fasting is compulsory for any sane and healthy Muslim who is not pregnant or travelling. Those who fast are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or have sex from sunrise to sunset during the month.

Infographic: Ramadan 2015 fasting hours

Infographic: Ramadan 2015 fasting hours
Infographic: Ramadan 2015 fasting hours


A map published by Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, and reposted by several Arab news outlets, shows that this year Denmark will see the longest fast, with an average of 21 hours per day.

Those in other northern European countries such as Iceland, Norway and Sweden will fast for almost as long, with an average of 20 hours per day. The UK will fast for 18 hours and 59 minutes, as well as Germany at 18 hours and 9 minutes.

The Americas and Australia

In South America, Argentina will see the shortest fasting period at 12 hours and 21 minutes. Australia, Brazil and Chile will see fasting periods of 12.5 hours, 13 hours and 9 minutes, and 11 hours and 58 minutes respectively.

The fasting duration in North America ranges from 15 to 18 hours, with Washington DC seeing an average of 16 hours and 44 minutes. Muslims in Canada will see an average of 18 hours and 9 minutes.

Middle East and Africa

Most countries in the world have 11-16 hours of fasting, including Saudi Arabia at 16 hours and 13 minutes, the United Arab Emirates at 15 hours and 23 minutes, and Kuwait at 15 hours and 59 minutes.

The Middle East is expected to have the hottest summer in 33 years this year, with predictions that temperatures in Saudi Arabia could reach record highs.

This, along with fasting hours varying from 14 hours to 16, could lead to dehydration and other health issues, so those fasting should avoid long periods under the sun and hydrate when possible.

South Africa has the third-shortest duration of fasting in the world at approximately 12 hours, while North African countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria have 16.5 to 17.5 hours of fasting.


Indian and Pakistani Muslims will fast for 17 hours and 11 minutes and 16.5 hours respectively. In China, the fast will last for 17 hours and 28 minutes. Russia will see the longest fast in Asia, at an average of 20 hours and 49 minutes.

Last year, those in Iceland and Sweden fasted for the longest, at just under 22 hours and 21 hours respectively. Australia had the shortest fasting period at just under 10 hours.

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