In case you were wondering…
If you’ve lived in the UAE for a while, you’ll know that the Islamic (lunar) calendar differs from the Georgian (solar) calendar, and the dates of Ramadan change each year. So, this has had us wondering, could Ramadan ever happen twice in the same calendar year?
Well, according to Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Member of the Arab Federation of Space and Astronomy Sciences, yes it will. In an interview with Gulf News, Al Jarwan explained that as the lunar calendar is 11 days fewer than the solar calendar, at some stage we will experience two Ramadans in the same year.
The solar calendar and the lunar calendar run separately from each other. In the solar one, a new year begins after the earth makes a full rotation around the sun (12 months), and while the lunar calendar also has 12 months, each only has 29 or 30 days so the year is shorter.
So, when will it happen?
In 2030, we can expect to experience Ramadan both at the beginning and end of the same year. During that year, Ramadan is likely to be observed on January 6, followed by Eid Al Fitr on February 5.
By the end of the year, Ramadan is expected to fall again on December 26, meaning the total fasting days in 2030 will be 36.
As the Hijri calendar only contains 354 days, the phenomenon will repeat every 33 years. The last time there were two Ramadans in the same year was 1997. After 2030, we can expect two Ramadans again in 2063.
The Hijri calendar is difficult to predict, and can only be decided by an official committee. This group is elected to come together and record moon sightings to determine a new month. However astronomers are able to predict when they think the new month will come.
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