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First day of Ramadhan in all likelihood on Thursday

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Oman is abuzz with excitement about Ramadhan, the first day of which is likely to fall on Thursday (March 23) the world over, according to astronomical data.

Abdulwahab al Busaidy, head of the observatory at Oman Astronomical Society, informed the Observer that the first day of Ramadhan, in all likelihood, would fall on Thursday (March 23) because there would be ample time to see the crescent moon on Wednesday evening.

“In order to see the crescent moon, it has to be in the sky for at least 12 to 15 hours. This time we are having enough hours, which is sufficient to see it on Wednesday evening. In fact, this time, there will be no differences the world over except for a few. But the whole region will start observing the fast on March 23,” Al Busaidy said.

The fasting hours at the beginning of Ramadhan this year in the Sultanate of Oman will be approximately 14 hours, and gradually increase everyday to approximately 14 and a half hours.

The good news is that this Ramadhan, starting in the third quarter of March and ending in the third quarter of April, is in spring – the transitional period between winter and summer.

“During Ramadhan, the weather isn’t expected to be hot. However, the hours will be long – averaging 14 hours throughout the month. According to the climate data for this period, the (average) temperature ranges between 32 to 34°C which is good news for those fasting,” Al Busaidy added.

Al Busaidy urged people to take good care of their health by drinking plenty of water and eating hydrating foods.

“People also need to stay healthy by doing some light exercises before iftar. There is a debate over the merits and demerits of exercise while fasting, but take it from my own experience, I have been doing some light exercises – like walking – before iftar for the past 15 years and it has helped a lot. I feel energetic and the health experts I have consulted advised me to continue doing the same,” Al Busaidy said.

Meanwhile, some of the people that the Observer contacted said Ramadhan is the most sacred month and hence deserves adequate preparations.

“We believe Ramadhan is the most sacred month. Therefore, because of this, we have to prepare in a number of ways including mentally. In any case, we welcome the month with eagerness. I’ll finish all my shopping so that I can be free to observe the month,” Hassan al Numani, Al Amerat resident, while shopping for Ramadhan, said.

Sawsan al Ajmi, who is passionate about cooking and loves experimenting the new recipes that she comes across, said, “I love cooking and baking so I exchange of recipes with my friends and try to perfect them before Ramadhan so I become confident about what I would be presenting to my family during the iftar days,” she said.


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