The first day of fasting for Muslims in Turkey in 2020, in accordance with the holy month of Ramadan, is April 24th. Ramadan will continue for 30 days this year. The Ramadan holiday starts this year midday on May 23rd, but as this is a Saturday, the whole day will in effect be a holiday. The holiday continues for 3 whole more days until and including Tuesday May 26th.
This year, Ramadan will be affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and governments’ restrictions on movement and gatherings of populaces. In Turkey, mosques are closed for prayer and there will be no organised iftar dinners.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelation, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset is obligatory for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating. The predawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the nightly feast that breaks the fast is called iftar. Although fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with a midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca, it is common practice to follow the timetable of the closest country in which night can be distinguished from day.
The spiritual rewards of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. Accordingly, Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behaviour, devoting themselves instead to prayer), recitation of the Quran, and the performance of charitable deeds as they strive for purity and heightened awareness of God.