Ramadan Timetable 2020: When is Ramadan 2020? When does Iftar start?
Ramadan is one of the most important months in the Islamic calendar, and a time for sombre reflection and fasting. The date of Ramadan is based on the lunar cycle – meaning the date the religious festival falls on varies each year.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims take part in fasting, meaning they do not eat or drink between dawn and sunset.
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, the other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, undertaking charity work and spending time with family and friends.
Ramadan may feel different this year for those who observe it, as the coronavirus pandemic has placed countries around the world on lockdown.
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When is Ramadan 2020?
Ramadan begins in the evening of Thursday, April 23 and ends a month later in the evening of Saturday, May 23.
Typically, each day Muslims attend mosques to undertake prayers, however amid the coronavirus lockdown this year will be different.
Social distancing measures are in place, meaning prayers, charity work and seeing friends and family during Ramadan has moved online.
There is also guidance on fasting for those who are vulnerable to coronavirus, or for those working long hours as key workers, with a sensible approach urged by community leaders.
When does Iftar start?
Each night, the fast is broken with a meal named Iftar, which takes place at sunset.
This can vary throughout the month as sunset gets later with the changing seasons.
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It can also vary across the UK, with sunset taking place at different times nationwide.
For example, on the first day of Ramadan, iftar takes place at 8.13pm, whereas two weeks later on Thursday, May 14, iftar is held at 8.48pm.
The time of the meal served before sunset – known as suhoor – also varies throughout the month.
The East London Mosque has put together a timetable which is shown on this page for those looking for guidance.
What happens when Ramadan ends?
The end of Ramadan brings the festival Eid al-Fitr, which starts in the evening of Saturday, May 23 and ends in the evening of Sunday, May 24.
Eid al-Fitr is also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
The holiday marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
Sweet treats are typically served, with Eid al-Fitr known as the sweet festival.
Treats include as boeber – a sweet, milk drink made by cooking vermicelli with dates – and Ghraybeh, a Middle Eastern shortbread cookie.
Traditionally lavish meals are hosted and shared with friends and family, however with the coronavirus outbreak, celebrations may be different this year.
Public gatherings, attending mosque and inviting family over may not be able to take place if social distancing measures continue.
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