Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

India's #metoo moment

Read more

THE DEBATE

India's #MeToo moment: why women are now calling out sexual harassment

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Objective 'Zero Hunger' 2030: Lambert Wilson and UN's FAO tell us how

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnians help out as migrants pour in

Read more

ENCORE!

Masego: Meet the 'TrapHouseJazz' musician getting 55 million hits on YouTube

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump: How deep do business ties run?

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

A pretty picture: Investing in the booming contemporary art market

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US backs off branding China a currency manipulator

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'No free press in Arab world': Washington Post publishes Khashoggi's last column

Read more

Saudi Arabia announces Thursday start for Ramadan

© AFP | Muslims in Riyadh break fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on May 30, 2017

RIYADH (AFP) - 

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan will begin Thursday in Saudi Arabia, the land of the religion's two holiest sites, authorities said.

"The first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan falls on Thursday corresponding to May 17, 2018," the Royal Court said in a statement published by state news agency SPA.

The start date is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings which determine when the last day of one lunar month ends and a new one begins.

Traditionally, many Muslim-majority countries have followed the dates set by Saudi religious authorities, but in recent years many have used their own astronomical calculations.

Ramadan is a holy month for the world's nearly 1.5 billion Muslims, many of whom practise the ritual of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayers.

Tradition holds that it was during Ramadan that the Prophet Mohammed started receiving revelations of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Ramadan is one of the five "pillars" of Islam.

The others are the profession of faith ("there is no God but God and Mohammed is his messenger"), the obligation to pray five times a day, charity, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

© 2018 AFP