For Muslims worldwide, The Holy Month of Ramadhan is a month of fasting, purity, spirituality and self-discipline. Fasting during this month is one of the five Pillars of Islam. This is observed as such since Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar which marks the revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammed. Muslims will start fasting by taking Suhur -the morning meal, at sunrise and break fast at sunset with the evening meal known as Iftar.
Ramadhan schedules around the world are different due to the times between sunrise and sunset, including the latitude and longitude. This time Ramadhan will fall on 6th or 7th June 2016 in the middle of the summer solstice with some countries having longer fasting hours than last year - especially significant in some European countries. Ramadhan calendars are available online, there are even special Ramadhan apps to keep track of correct Suhur and Iftar timings for Muslims who will be in a different city. It is always better to get information from the closest mosque in the area you are residing.
Muslims in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will be experiencing around 11 to 12 hours of fasting, these are hours are some of the shortest for this year. Some South American countries like Brazil, Chile and Argentina will also experience shorter fasting hours during Ramadhan.
Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Malaysia will break fast after 14 to 15 hours. In the Middle East fasting hours will also be approximately 14 to 15 hours in countries like Dubai, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However, in Syria fasting will be for about 16 hours. Ramadhan fasting hours in other Asian countries like China, Japan and South Korea are an hour or so longer with 15 to 16 hours. The United States will also have an average of 16 hours of fasting for Ramadhan this year.
In European countries like France, Italy, Belgium and Holland, the average fasting hours for Ramadhan will be from 17 to 18 hours while Muslims in the United Kingdom and Denmark will be fasting between 18 to 19 hours. This time Germany will also have longer Ramadhan fasting hours falling between 19 to 20 hours. In places that are further north like Russia, Norway and Sweden fasting will be experienced for more than 20 hours, so Muslims in these countries follow the Mecca timings. In Reykjavik, Iceland the sunset sets for only a short time making Iceland the country with the longest Ramadhan timings being roughly 21 to 22 hours, again Muslims in these regions follow Mecca timings too.
The Holy Month of Ramadhan will end on July 5th or 6th 2016. Eid Al Fitr will be celebrated on these dates depending on when the crescent moon has been sighted after sunset on the 29th day by the moon sighting committee. This is done by astronomical calculations.