Which countries have yet to announce start of Ramadan?

The committees of five Arab countries are set to look for the crescent Moon on Wednesday

Ramadan lightings at Piccadilly Circus in London. Reuters
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Several Arab countries have announced that Ramadan will start on March 23.

Moon-sighting committees in Saudi Arabia and the UAE declared Wednesday as the last day of Shaban, the month preceding Ramadan, after the crescent Moon was not spotted.

However, Oman, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania have yet to announce the start of Ramadan as their committees are set to look for the crescent Moon on Wednesday.

Last month, these countries had said that February 22 was the first day of Shaban, meaning the end of Shaban would fall on either March 23 or March 24, followed by the first day of Ramadan.

The Muslim world typically looks to Saudi Arabia to determine the start of Ramadan and other religious holidays, although each country has their own Moon-sighting committee.

The kingdom's supreme court called on people to look for the crescent Moon on Tuesday, requesting observers to report any sighting to the nearest court. Observers were unable to spot the new Moon on Tuesday, the sighting committee reported.

Other countries, including Kuwait, the Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia, have aligned with the decision of Saudi Arabia's Moon-sighting committee.

As per astronomical calculations, the holy month will last 29 days this year. The first day of Eid Al Fitr is expected to be on Friday, April 21.

Updated: March 22, 2023, 9:05 AM