Ramadan 2024: All about expected date, diverse fasting hours, and Eid holiday

A Saudi woman takes a picture of decorations in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on May 3, 2019, ahead of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. —AFP
A Saudi woman takes a picture of decorations in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on May 3, 2019, ahead of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. —AFP

As Muslims globally prepare for the forthcoming holy month of Ramadan, expected to commence in less than two months, attention turns to the diverse fasting experiences across different regions, Al Arabiya reported. 

During Ramadan, Muslims adhere to fasting from dawn till sunset, fostering a sense of community and empathy for the less fortunate through shared iftars. 

Ramadan 2024 is projected to likely start around March 11, featuring fasting hours ranging between 12 and over 17 hours, with variations observed worldwide.

Extremes in fasting hours

Certain locations are set to experience the longest fasting hours, spanning between 15 and 18 hours. Notable cities in this category include Nuuk (Greenland), Reykjavik (Iceland), and Helsinki (Finland). 

On the flip side, areas with shorter fasting hours (between 12 to 14 hours) encompass Christchurch (New Zealand), Puerto Montt (Chile), and Jakarta (Indonesia).

Middle East and Gulf regions

In the Middle East and Gulf regions, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, fasting hours are expected to fall between 13-15 hours, contingent upon specific locations.

Ramadan amid winter

This year, Ramadan aligns with the winter season, starting on December 22 and concluding on March 20, according to Ibrahim al-Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society.

Eid-ul-Fitr and public holidays

Eid al-Fitr, marking Ramadan’s conclusion, is anticipated around April 10. In Muslim-majority countries, both public and private sector employees traditionally enjoy days off during this festive period. While not officially a public holiday, the observance of Eid al-Fitr typically grants leisure time.

Moonsighting and confirmations

The precise start of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, particularly in Saudi Arabia, relies on the Moon-sighting committee, with confirmations expected closer to the dates.

Public holidays in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Although Ramadan itself isn’t designated a public holiday, last year saw Saudi Arabia granting a four-day public holiday for the private and non-profit sectors during Eid al-Fitr. Similar holiday arrangements are anticipated in Muslim-majority countries, with specifics to be disclosed closer to the date.

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