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The month of Ramadan is considered the holiest and most sacred month of the Islamic Hijri (lunar) calendar. Muslims firmly believe that it was during this exalted month that the archangel Gabriel descended from the heavens and revealed the Message to the Prophet Muhammad.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to elevate their level of spiritual and physical submission to God by way of fasting; that is to say, Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and also husband-wife intimacy from the breaking of dawn until the setting of the sun.

As we prepare to welcome the holiest of months, here are the dates, calendar and guide to spending Ramadan 2021 in Bangladesh.    

Ramadan dates and calendar 2021

The arrival of Ramadan has always been associated with a certain amount of mystique and contemplation. The exact date of the month’s beginning is traditionally determined by religious scholars/authorities under the cover of night as they seek to observe certain sightings related to the appearance and cycle of the moon.

This year, Ramadan in Bangladesh is expected to be upon us starting from 12 April and will last until 12 May 2021, followed by the Islamic festivities of Eid al Fitr.

 

Ramadan in Bangladesh

Come Ramadan (or Ramzan, depending on where you’re from), the culinary traditions of the country practically mandate those engaged in fasting to take to the streets and enjoy the open-air buffet. Nearing sunset, people are inexplicably drawn to the allure of these traditional iftar markets of Dhaka and other cities as they serve various shahi or dishes deemed perfect for breaking one’s fast.

Among some of the crowd-pleasers are shahi jilapi (sweet fried dough), shahi haleem (a type of meat drenched in curry) and suti kabab served alongside a myriad of rejuvenating fresh fruit juices.

Image © dhakatribune.com

Mosques across the country are generally filled to capacity as devotees take advantage of the holy month to propel themselves to even higher levels of submission by performing Taraweeh prayers and reciting the Qur’an far into the night.

Apart from serving as places of worship, mosques in Bangladesh are essentially transformed into makeshift shelters granting anyone respite from hunger and thirst no matter their religious or ethnic backgrounds. The readily available food is courtesy of the local population wishing to engage in acts of charity during Ramadan as encouraged by the teachings of their faith.

 

Some rules to observe

Non-Muslims are not required to fast during Ramadan, but do avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours. Although not punishable by law, such wanton display may attract unwanted attention from the locals as it is considered rude. As restaurants and other eateries remain open, albeit more discreetly, people looking for food during the day will not present a problem.