Ramadan 2023: Duration of Fasting and Iftar Timings Across the Globe


The fast from dawn to dusk ranges from 12 to 18 hours depending on one’s location worldwide.

The sacred month of Ramadan for Muslims is set to commence on Thursday. The fast, lasting from pre-dawn to dusk, varies between 12 and 18 hours depending on one’s geographical location.
Muslims hold that the initial verses of the Quran, the holy book, were revealed to Prophet Muhammad over 1,400 years ago during the month of Ramadan. Fasting requires abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual activity during daylight hours to attain heightened “taqwa” or God-consciousness.

Why does the start of Ramadan change every year?

Ramadan commences 10 to 12 days earlier each year since the Islamic calendar relies on the lunar Hijri calendar, which consists of months lasting 29 or 30 days. Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that this year, the first day of fasting in Mecca would be on Thursday, March 23.

As the lunar year is shorter than the solar year by 11 days, Ramadan will be observed twice in 2030 – initially starting on January 5 and then again on December 25. The next instance of Ramadan starting after March 23 will occur 33 years later – in 2056.

Fasting and iftar Timings Across the World:

The duration of daylight varies globally. Muslims residing in the southernmost countries, such as Chile or New Zealand, will fast for an average of 12 hours, while those in the northernmost countries, like Iceland or Greenland, will experience fasts exceeding 17 hours.

For Muslims living in the Northern Hemisphere, fasting hours will be slightly shorter this year and will continue to decrease until 2031, when Ramadan will coincide with the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year. After that, fasting hours will increase until the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The opposite will occur for Muslims living south of the equator. The pre-dawn meal initiating the daily fast is known as suhoor, while the meal consumed to break the fast after sunset is called iftar.

Fasting, Suhoor, and Iftar Timings Worldwide:

In extreme northern cities like Longyearbyen, Norway, where the sun does not set from April 20 to August 22, religious decrees have been issued to follow timings in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or the nearest Muslim country. The average number of fasting hours in cities worldwide are listed below. Actual fasting hours and times will vary day-to-day and depend on calculation methods.

Which cities have the longest fasting hours?

GreenlandNuuk17 hours
IcelandReykjavik17 hours
FinlandHelsinki17 hours
SwedenStockholm17 hours
ScotlandGlasgow17 hours
NetherlandsAmsterdam16 hours
PolandWarsaw16 hours
United KingdomLondon16 hours
KazakhstanAstana16 hours
BelgiumBrussels16 hours
FranceParis15 hours
SwitzerlandZurich15 hours
RomaniaBucharest15 hours
CanadaOttawa15 hours
BulgariaSofia15 hours
ItalyRome15 hours
SpainMadrid15 hours
Bosnia and HerzegovinaSarajevo15 hours
PortugalLisbon14 hours
GreeceAthens14 hours
ChinaBeijing14 hours
United StatesWashington, DC14 hours
North KoreaPyongyang14 hours
TurkeyAnkara14 hours
MoroccoRabat14 hours
JapanTokyo14 hours
PakistanIslamabad14 hours
AfghanistanKabul14 hours
IranTehran14 hours
IraqBaghdad14 hours
LebanonBeirut14 hours
SyriaDamascus14 hours
EgyptCairo14 hours
IsraelJerusalem14 hours
KuwaitKuwait City14 hours
PalestineGaza City14 hours
IndiaNew Delhi14 hours
Hong KongHong Kong14 hours
BangladeshDhaka14 hours
OmanMuscat14 hours
RiyadhSaudi Arabia14 hours
DohaQatar14 hours
DubaiUAE14 hours
AdenYemen14 hours
Addis AbabaEthiopia13 hours
DakarSenegal13 hours
AbujaNigeria13 hours
ColomboSri Lanka13 hours
BangkokThailand13 hours
KhartoumSudan13 hours
Kuala LumpurMalaysia13 hours

Which cities have the shortest fasting hours:

SingaporeSingapore13 hours
NairobiKenya13 hours
LuandaAngola13 hours
JakartaIndonesia13 hours
BrasiliaBrazil13 hours
HarareZimbabwe13 hours
JohannesburgSouth Africa13 hours
Buenos AiresArgentina12 hours
Ciudad del EsteParaguay12 hours
Cape TownSouth Africa12 hours
MontevideoUruguay12 hours
CanberraAustralia12 hours
Puerto MonttChile12 hours
ChristchurchNew Zealand12 hours

Various Greetings for Ramadan in Different Languages:

Muslim-majority countries often have unique greetings in their native languages. “Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem” are popular greetings exchanged during this period, wishing the recipient a blessed and bountiful month, respectively

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