Saudi Arabia announces Ramadan to start Thursday
Observers were unable to spot new moon on Tuesday
Saudi Arabia has announced that the month of Ramadan will start on Thursday.
Wednesday will be the last day of the month of Shabaan, which precedes Ramadan, after observers were unable to spot the new moon on Tuesday.
Muslim countries usually look to Saudi Arabia to determine the start of Ramadan and other religious holidays, since the country contains the cities of Mecca and Medina, which are holy to Muslims. Each country usually has their own sighting committee.
The Saudi Arabia Supreme Court called on observers to look for the new moon on Tuesday, and asked anyone observing the new moon to report the sighting to the nearest court.
Ramadan is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins at the first sighting of the new moon.
Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month in which Mohammed first began to receive the revelation of the Quran.
During the month of Ramadan, those who are healthy enough to fast will observe the fast from just before the sunrise prayer until just after the sunset prayer.
This year marks the first year that Ramadan will be celebrated without any COVID-19 restrictions.