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Iran declares Sunday as first day of holy month of Ramadan

Iranians gather for the street iftar (fast-breaking) dinner tradition at Pirozi district in Tehran, Iran on May 13, 2019. (File photo by Anadolu Agency)

The office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has declared Sunday, April 3, as the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

According to reports, observation teams across the country, including those of the Leader’s office, could not sight the new crescent moon on Friday night and declared Sunday, instead of Saturday, as the first day of Ramadan.

The beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan is determined by both lunar calculations and physical sightings of a new moon.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, converge in mosques for prayers, and traditionally break their fast in gatherings in mosques or with family and friends in the evening.

Different countries have developed their own methods of declaring the first day of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia announced that it recognizes Saturday as the first day.

“Tomorrow, Saturday, will be the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan,” Riyadh said on Friday, in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

Four other Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, have also announced the Saturday start of Ramadan, while Oman said it is expected to begin a day later.

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