This week marks the start of Ramadan for more than a billion Muslims around the world.
The month-long observance — which starts on either May 15 or May 16 this year — will see Muslims fasting from sunrise-to-sunset, reciting verses from the Quran and attending prayer sessions. For many of those observing Ramadan, It is a time to become closer to God. It is also a time of joy and for spending time with one’s family, and giving to charity and those in need.
Here’s what you need to know about Ramadan, which is known as the holiest month in Islam.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan begins during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar when the new crescent moon is first sighted. The exact start date of Ramadan will only be confirmed when the moon is spotted, and this year it is expected to be seen between Tuesday, May 15 and Wednesday, May 16, allowing for a day here and there depending on atmospheric conditions.