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Ramadan Start in Canada

Ramadan (also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims in Canada. The first verses of the Koran (Qu'ran) were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (also written as Mohammad or Muhammed) during the last third of Ramadan, making this an especially holy period.

Is Ramadan Start a Public Holiday?

Ramadan Start is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Some homes have lit lanterns in the evenings during the month of Ramadan.

©iStockphoto.com/GHOSS

What Do People Do?

Many Muslims in Canada fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. The fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar after sunset. The evening meal usually consists of lentils or other pulses, including chickpeas. Some mosques host daily community dinners where Muslims can break their fast together during Ramadan.

Many Muslims broaden their compassion for the hungry and less fortunate when they fast. Therefore, Ramadan is also a time for many Muslims to donate to charity by participating in food drives for the poor and other voluntary activities. Muslims are encouraged to be charitable during Ramadan.

People of Islamic faith are encouraged to read the entire Qur'an during Ramadan. Some Muslims recite the entire Qur'an by the end of Ramadan through special prayers known as Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a section of the Qur'an is recited.

Public Life

Many Islamic businesses and organizations may amend opening hours to suit prayer times during Ramadan in Canada. There may also be some congestion around mosques during prayer times, such as in the evenings.

Background

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 months and lasts for about 354 days. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of food and drink. It is considered to be the most holy and blessed month. Fighting is not allowed during this period.

The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting, marking the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Many Muslims (except children, the sick and the elderly) abstain from food, drink, and certain other activities during daylight hours in Ramadan. This is considered as the holiest season in the Islamic year and commemorates the time when the Qu’ran (Islamic holy book) is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This occurred on Laylat Al-Qadr, one of the last 10 nights of the month. Ramadan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again, marking the new lunar month’s start. Eid-al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

About Ramadan Start in other countries

Read more about Ramadan Start.

Ramadan Start Observances

Note: Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015ThuJun 18Ramadan StartMuslim
2016TueJun 7Ramadan StartMuslim
2017SatMay 27Ramadan StartMuslim
2018WedMay 16Ramadan StartMuslim
2019MonMay 6Ramadan StartMuslim
2020FriApr 24Ramadan StartMuslim
2021TueApr 13Ramadan StartMuslim
2022SunApr 3Ramadan StartMuslim
2023ThuMar 23Ramadan StartMuslim
2024MonMar 11Ramadan StartMuslim
2025SatMar 1Ramadan StartMuslim

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