By Samreen Hayat |
Yahoo Maktoob News/Neville Hopwood/Yahoo! Maktoob - Jumeirah mosque at sunset, Jumeirah, Dubai. Photograph by Neville Hopwood/Yahoo! Maktoob
Ramadan in the UAE will likely begin on Sunday, June 29, astronomers at the Sharjah Planetarium predicted.
According to state news agency WAM, Sharjah Planetarium announced the Ramadan crescent moon, which determines the start of a month in the Islamic lunar calendar, will appear on June 27, at 12:08 AM and the sun will set at 7:12pm.
By their calculation, this means the first fast of the year will be on June 29.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the lunar calendar and is marked by fasting and prayer, ending in a celebration known as Eid Al-Fitr.
Islamic months last 29 or 30 days depending on the moon cycle. According to Muslim tradition, the crescent moon must be sighted in order to confirm the start of a new month.
The Sharjah Planetarium experts also predict the new moon of Shawal - the month following Ramadan - will appear on Sunday, July 27, at 2.42am, resulting in Eid Al-Fitr coinciding with Monday, July 28.
Muslims fast from dawn until dusk during Ramadan. This year, a fast in the UAE will last just over 15 hours, from 4am to 7pm.
RAMADAN 2013 IN PICTURES