When is Ramadan 2022? Ramadan will this year begin on Saturday, April 2, 2022. and will finish on Sunday, May 1, 2022.
However, these dates are not confirmed. The exact dates Ramadan, the auspicious month-long festival of the Muslim calendar, are tied to the movements of the Moon.
So the start and end of Ramadan is something you can actually watch happening.
All you have to do is stand outside and look to the west at dusk on Saturday, April 2, 2022 and you’ll see —if you have keen eyes, a low horizon and perhaps a pair of binoculars or a small telescope—the appearance of a 2.4% Crescent Moon just 1.5 days after being a New Moon.
It’s this first sighting of the “Youngest Moon”—or the “Ramadan Moon,” if you will—that signifies the end of the month of Islamic month of Shaban and the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the fasting month.
During Ramadan up to 1.8 billion Muslims across our planet will fast between sunrise and sunset.
The holy month of Ramadan has no fixed dates. It’s due to start and end on the dates mentioned, but that does rely on a successful observation by clerics of that super-slim Crescent Moon.
Technically it’s all about the first sighting of the Crescent Moon over Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Muhammad.
A New Moon is precisely between the Earth and the Sun so it’s invisible. As the Moon moves away from the Sun it becomes just about visible as a slim crescent a little above the western horizon after dusk, though it takes at least 15 hours after the instance of New Moon to become visible at all.
The next full Moon—the full “Pink Moon”—will occur on Sunday, April 16, 2022. It will be the first full Moon of spring 2022 in the northern hemisphere and it will signify the middle of Ramadan. But when will Ramadan 2022 finish?
That will happen on Sunday, May 1, 2022, when Ramadan finishes with the three-day feasting festival of Eid al-Fitr (the “festival of breaking the fast”).
However, Eid al-Fitr will only begin with the sighting of a New Moon—called the “Shawwal Moon”—likely on either Sunday, May 1, 2022 or Tuesday, May 2, 2022.
That’s because on Sunday, May 1, 2022 the Crescent Moon will only be 0.7% illuminated and 0.9 days old, which could prove impossible to see. The next evening it will be 3.4%-lit and 1.8 days old, so a little bigger, brighter and higher in the sky.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar based on the phases of our satellite. Many of the world’s major religions use the lunar cycle to determine the dates of at least some of their festivals; Chinese New Year is also referred to as Lunar New Year and is also dictated by the Moon’s orbit of Earth.
The lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon’s phases, though the lunar month lasts 29.5 days.
A lunar year lasts 354.3 days, so it all gets all out of whack with the solar calendar, where a year—the time it takes for the Earth to orbit once around the sun—lasts 365.25 days.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.