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This Sunday, our Muslim community will begin a month of fasting and prayer. Here's what you need to know about Ramadan in Singapore this year

In the blink of an eye, another year has come around and we are once again on the cusp of Ramadan, which begins on April 3.

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This year, Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa, which follows a month of diligent fasting, is set to be even more special with loosened Covid-19 restrictions that allow us to dine out in groups of 10 and the option to now remove masks outdoors.

With bazaars and larger family meals back on the agenda, read on to find out everything you need to know about celebrating Ramadan in Singapore this year.

1. What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a period of fasting that falls yearly on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is typically observed by Muslims around the world and is considered to be the holiest month of the year as it is the month during which Prophet Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, according to History.

During this month, able-bodied Muslims who are not pregnant, menstruating, sick or elderly, will fast from dawn to dusk daily.  This is a requirement in the Islam religion as it is an act of devotion and dedication to God. 

The act of fasting is meant to teach individuals how to discipline their body and mind and to restrain themselves from earthly pleasures. It is also meant to create empathy for people who are less fortunate. As a result, many Muslims engage in charitable acts during the month. 

2. When does Ramadan begin and end?

Did you know that because the Muslim calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian calendar year, Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier each year?

This allows it to fall every season in a 33-year cycle. This year, Ramadan will fall between April 3 and May 1 in Singapore. Considering that Ramadan dates typically depend on the cycles of the moon, it may vary in different countries. 

3. When do Muslims start and end their fast?

Muslims will typically begin their fasting day with a meal right before dawn. This is called sahur. The timing of this meal varies daily and goes according to when the sun is set to rise.

This month, sahur will take place between 5.45 am and 5.55 am. Muslims are encouraged to check the timings regularly as they can change day to day. 

During this meal, Muslims will eat and drink according to their preferences. After which, they will cease all food and drinks till sunset.

Again, the timings of iftar—which is when Muslims break their fast—will differ daily. This year, the timings will range between 7.08 pm and 7.13 pm. Muslims usually make iftar a family meal and they break their fast together by consuming dates before the meal, followed by prayers. 

If you are looking for a place to break your fast, you can check out our list here.

4. How does Singapore celebrate Ramadan?

In Singapore, Ramadan is usually celebrated widely with special Ramadan meals in restaurants, light-ups and Ramadan bazaars. It is typically a bright and exciting season for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. 

This year, Ramadan is set to be even more exciting with loosened Covid-19 restrictions, borders reopened and the famous bazaars making a return after two years of being cancelled or taken online. 

There are three bazaars planned, with two happening at Geylang Serai and Kampong Gelam. While they will be smaller in scale as compared to previous years, they will still feature many vendors that will be touting Instagrammable food, clothes and more. 

That said, official details are still being finalised. We do, however, know that a Geylang Serai Hari Raya Shopping Experience 2022 will be running from April 2 to May 2 this year and that it will be located near the Wisma Geylang Serai building.

There will be two zones with 20 stalls in each zone, according to a tender document that the People’s Association (PA) released. The bazaar will also be open from 1 pm to 11 pm daily. 

Ahead of the bazaar, the streets of Geylang Serai have also been lit up with festive lights. The theme this year is Gotong Royong—Unity and Resilience and the lights cover Changi Road, Geylang Road and Sims Avenue till May 8. 

5. What happens after Ramadan?

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Puasa. The celebration is about acknowledging the month that has gone by, gaining forgiveness and enjoying food with family and community members. 

The day typically begins with prayers and then moves on to family visits. This is where younger family members will seek forgiveness from their elders. Green packets are also typically exchanged. 

Some families may also choose to wear outfits of the same colour or colour schemes to symbolise family unity.  


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