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Morocco Re-Introduces Clock Changes for Ramadan 2019

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Published 19-Apr-2019

Morocco will turn back its clocks for Ramadan this year, although the country had abolished seasonal clock changes in October 2018.

Sunset at Jamaa el Fna market in Marrakesh, Morocco

Sunset in Marrakesh

The clock change means that the Sun will set at an earlier civil time during Ramadan, allowing for an earlier break of the daily Ramadan fast.

©iStockphoto.com/kasto80

One Month of Reverse DST

Clocks in Morocco will be turned back by 1 hour on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 03:00 (3 am) local time. They will be turned ahead again by 1 hour on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 02:00 (2 am).

The North African country currently observes Western European Summer Time (WEST), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), as standard time. Between May 5 and June 9, clocks will be turned back to Western European Time (WET), which is synchronous with UTC.

This year's time changes in Morocco are unique on a global scale since Daylight Saving Time (DST) is usually one hour ahead of standard time, while Morocco will turn clocks back for about one month.

Earlier Sunset During Ramadan

Morocco's unusual DST schedule is designed to make it easier to observe the daily Ramadan fast. In effect, it will cause the Sun to set at an earlier civil time. Muslims are expected to fast during daylight hours in the Islamic month of Ramadan, which is currently expected to run from May 7 to June 5 this year.

DST Abolished in 2018

Falling back by 1 hour during Ramadan has been a common practice in Morocco since 2012, when the Islamic month, whose dates change slightly each year, began to fall during the country's Daylight Saving Time (DST) period.

Since the North African country was also observing a regular Daylight Saving Time (DST) regime in previous years, residents had to endure four time changes per year. This practice was abolished in 2018, when Morocco decided to adopt Western European Summer Time as its new standard time.

Future Practice Unknown

It is as yet unknown if Morocco will turn its clocks by 1 hour again in 2020 and subsequent years. Next year, Ramadan is expected to last from late April to late May, when the days are not quite as long, diminishing the need to adjust the civil time to allow an earlier daily break of the Ramadan fast.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

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