Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, regarded by Muslims as the holiest month.

The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, commonly known as the lunar cycle. As a result, the Holy month of Ramadan falls approximately 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar.

This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on Thursday 23 March, subject to the sighting of the new moon. 

Muslims spend the entire month of Ramadan in fasting, worship and spitirual reflection. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Holy Qur'an.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. In Arabic, it means 'festival of breaking the fast'. Depending on the new moon sighting, Eid ul-Fitr this year is likely to fall on Friday 21 April.

CNWL has updated their Ramadan and your health leaflet, it has information on things like taking medications during Ramadan, short term illness and fasting and useful links to further guidance.

If you want to learn more about Ramadan and how you can support your Muslim colleagues during this period, The NHS London Leadership Academy and National NHS Muslim Network are hosting an online session on Tuesday 28 March, 4pm, titled: ‘Managers Session: Supporting Muslim staff and colleagues in Ramadan’. Sign up for your place here.

This year, the NHS Muslim Network and NHS England are asking non-Muslim colleagues to take up the #NHSRamadanChallenge.

By fasting (no food or drink) on the day of your choice from the break of dawn to sunset, you’ll understand and experience how Muslim colleagues feel when they’re fasting for Ramadan.

If you are planning on taking part, tweet about it using #NHSRamadanChallenge and tag the NHS Muslim Network.

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