Cultural Calendar: Ramadan

Posted on
30 April 2021


Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar. 
It begins with the first sighting of the moon during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.


The Islamic calendar is similar to the Georgian calendar but it is set around the lunar cycle, it is depended on the sighting of the moon before a new month can start.  Where the Georgian calendar has 365 or 366 days, the Islamic calendar (known as the Hijri Calendar 1442) has 354 or 355 days.


What happens during Ramadan?

Healthy adult Muslims will fast during daylight hours for this month. This means that they will not eat, drink, smoke or have sexual relations. Muslims who are exempt from this are those that are ill, or those whose health might deteriorate due to fasting. Children, pregnant or breast feeding women, menstruating women and travellers are also exempt.

But it isn't just about fasting. For Muslims, it is about a reflection on individual life and how they conduct themselves with other people. Muslims are encouraged to reflect on their behaviour which including abstaining from swearing, lying, gossiping and backbiting. It is a development process to refine themselves as positive role models in society, by displaying strong qualities of self-discipline and community concern that will stick as good habits for the remainder of the year.


Did you know?

  • Fasting during Ramadan occurs from dawn until sunset. Before dawn, Muslims eat a pre-fast meal called Sahur. At sunset, they break the fast with a meal called Iftar.
  • If done correctly, fasting during Ramadan can release endorphins that improve mental well-being. It can also help detoxify the body.
  • After Ramadan is over, Muslims have a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or "festival of the breaking of the fast," where people come together to eat, enjoy family and friends, and exchange gifts.


What is Iftar?
Iftar is the break of the daily fast and when Covid restrictions are not in place, a sociable affair. In Manchester this is at 8:39pm ( which is after the call for evening prayer. The meal is their time to replenish energy levels from all major food groups.


Keeping well during Ramadan

  • Click here for a healthy eating guide during Ramadan from
  • BBC Sport has a brilliant article about how to exercise, eat and sleep while fasting, please click here to read.
  • Below is a handy graphic from instagrammer @CourtneyBlackApp with tips on how to train during Ramadan.


Understanding through shared experience
Would you be able to not eat or drink for one day, from sun up to sun down? 
The fast is a way to show gratitude for the things that you have. What are you grateful of?


Whilst fasting is against the norm for many in Britain it is important to show respect for the choices and beliefs of others. Show understanding and caring and maybe ask thoughtful, open ended questions about what fasting and Ramadan means to that person or how you might be able to support them, as fasting can affect people in different ways.


Be a #VaccineHero during Ramadan: The British Islamic Medical Association has issued specific advice urging Muslims observing Ramadan not to delay getting the vaccine, drawing on analysis from Islamic scholars which says that injections for non-nutritional purposes do not invalidate the fast. (GMCA, April 2021)



Ramadan- Fasting in the Workplace- BBC- Ramadan in the workplace 101 – What you need to know - BBC Bitesize

Ramadan Facts- 40 Interesting Facts about Ramadan | FactRetriever

10 quick facts for those who don't know much about Ramadan | Amnesty International