Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year, begins at sunset the evening of June 5 this year.
The Islamic calendar is tied to the circles of the moon, rather than Earth’s journey around the sun, so Ramadan is observed about 11 days earlier every year. It takes 33 years for it to come back to the same time of year. The name of the month comes from a word meaning “hot” or “burned” which suggests that Ramadan was originally a summer month as it is this year.
During this sacred month, Muslims past the age of puberty are required to observe the five pillars of Islam, including fasting; the profession of faith in Allah as the one god and in Muhammad as his prophet; prayer five times a day; the giving of alms to the poor; and the hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca. Continue reading