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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.

Some homes have lit lanterns in the evenings during the month of Ramadan.
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.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
WedAug 112010Ramadan StartMuslim 
MonAug 12011Ramadan StartMuslim 
FriJul 202012Ramadan StartMuslim 
TueJul 92013Ramadan StartMuslim 
SunJun 292014Ramadan StartMuslim 
ThuJun 182015Ramadan StartMuslim 
TueJun 72016Ramadan StartMuslim 
SatMay 272017Ramadan StartMuslim 
WedMay 162018Ramadan StartMuslim 
MonMay 62019Ramadan StartMuslim 
FriApr 242020Ramadan StartMuslim 

Quick Facts

Many Muslims in Canada welcome Ramadan as period of fasting, self-evaluation and spiritual growth. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.

Ramadan Start 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ramadan Start 2019

Monday, May 6, 2019

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Ramadan StartEnglish
RamadanFrench
Ramadan beginntGerman
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.

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in May 2019 in Canada

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