Ramadan begins on the evening of Monday 12 April and ends on the evening of Wednesday 12 May 2021. Muslims follow the lunar calendar, so the exact start and end dates depend on the sighting of the moon so these dates can vary slightly.
Ramadan is followed by the festival of Eid-ul- Fitr, a celebration to mark the end of Ramadan, which will take start on the evening of Wednesday 12 May and the evening of Thursday 13 May 2021.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
Muslims believe it is the month during which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over 1400 years ago. Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims and it is considered that the reward of good deeds during this month are multiplied several fold.
During Ramadan, from dawn until sunset, Muslims are obliged to abstain from all forms of food, drink (including water), smoking and sexual activity. Most Muslims will wake before dawn for a meal before the start of their fast (also known as Suhoor), and break their fast (also known as Iftar) with dates and water at sunset, and then a meal.
This year, fasts in the UK will last around 15-16 hours. The start and end times vary as the month progresses.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The overall purpose of the fast is to gain Taqwa (which means to gain piety or God consciousness). This is achieved through an increase in prayers, reading the Qur’an, self-reflection and self-discipline.
Find out more
For further information and guidance for managers and staff, take a look at the Inclusive employers Ramadan 2021 fact sheet.