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06 May 2019 | 01:00 AM UTC

Asia: Muslims to observe Ramadan beginning May 5

Muslims in Asia, particularly South, Central, and Southeast Asia, will observe Ramadan beginning May 5 and lasting until early June; reduced business operations and transportation disruptions expected

culture
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Event

Muslims observe Ramadan, a month of lasting and religious dedication, beginning Sunday evening (local time), May 5. Ramadan will last until early June, likely between Monday, June 3, to Wednesday, June 5, and culminate with a festival period, typically called Eid al-Fitr. Many businesses, schools, government offices, and restaurants may be closed or have limited hours during the day over the course of Ramadan. Diplomatic missions may also have adjusted schedules.

Transportation disruptions are also expected during this period, particularly traffic congestion around sunset as observers gather nightly to break their fast. Increased security measures may be in effect due to a heightened risk of terrorism, depending on the locality.

Context

Ramadan is a month of reflection and self-restraint for Muslims and carries great significance in the Muslim calendar. Muslims traditionally fast during daylight hours and are called to practice increased devotion and prayer. The month concludes with Eid al-Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Puasa, Choti Eid, and Romjaner Eid, typically marked by communal prayers and large feasts.

Advice

Individuals in South, Central, and Southeast Asia are advised to avoid eating, drinking, and smoking in public during the day and anticipate disruptions to business and government schedules, particularly in Muslim-majority countries. Travelers during this period are advised to allow additional time to reach their destination and avoid any forms of public gatherings or demonstrations as a precaution.

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