Why do the dates of Ramadan change every year?

Photo by Mustafa Abdulhadi

Ramadan is the holiest period in the Islamic calendar, and fasting is one of the religion’s 5 pillars.

Because the Islamic calendar is predicated on lunar cycles rather than the Gregorian calendar, the actual date of Ramadan varies from year to year. The Islamic calendar is based on the moon’s phases, also recognised as the lunar cycle.

The Holy Month of Ramadan begins approximately 10 days earlier in the Gregorian calendar each year. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and it starts only when the new moon is visible.

Different countries and peoples use other calendars, as is well known. There is the solar calendar, which has 365 days and is predicated on the sun’s movements at the beginning and end of the year.

The lunar calendar, which has 354 days, is based on the appearance and demise of the moon at the start and the end of each month.

Regarding the number of months, the solar calendar is equivalent to the lunar calendar, but it differs in terms of the number of days. As a result, it lasts eleven hours longer than the lunar calendar.

The Gregorian calendar follows the solar year, while the Hijri calendar follows the lunar year. As a result, the start of Ramadan differs from year to year in the Gregorian calendar. As a result, it moves through the four seasons.

Is it better to use a calculated lunar calendar or one that is observed?

There are two methods for calculating. The Muslim calendar is, in fact, based on a lunar calendar that fluctuates between 29 and 30 days per month. The unavoidable Muslim ritual of the Night of Doubt is being used to precisely define the first day of the new lunar month. This night, experts watch for the presentation of the first crescent of the new moon in the sky, which marks the beginning of the lunar month.

Do not fast until you’ve seen the crescent moon, and therefore do not break the fast until you also see it.