When is Ramadan 2020? U.S. Start Date, Prayer Times and Calendar Details

Muslims across the U.S. are gearing up to observe the religious holiday of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting that helps followers of the religion reflect on what they are grateful for.

But with the coronavirus pandemic affecting the nation, how will this impact Ramadan?

When is Ramadan?

According to the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, determining the start of the holy month is dependent on the physical sighting of a new moon. The present of Ramadan should be observed after the sunset of the 29th day of Sha'ban–the month preceding Ramadan. If the moon is not seen, then Ramadan starts after 30 days of Sha'ban.

This year, the holy month of fasting will begin on the evening of April 23, and will end on the evening of May 23, in the U.S. Daytime fasting for Ramadan starts and ends at different times and runs for different lengths across the world due to sunrise and sunset being governed by latitude. The below graph, with data from islamicfinder.org and provided by Statista, shows the different fasting times across the globe.

Statista Ramadan Fasting 2020
The graphic shows the differing fasting times across the world during Ramadan 2020. Statista.com

How Long Does Ramadan Last?

The holy month lasts 30 days and nights. Its end is very much determined the same way as its beginning; by sighting the new moon. The month that succeeds Ramadan is called Shawwal.

The prayer times throughout the month in the U.S. are the following—data provided by Islamic Finder.

At the end of Ramadan is a celebration known as Eid al-Fitr, which takes place during the first three days of Shawwal. During this time, official or private parties are held, with the giving of presents, as well as visiting relatives' graves.

Atlanta, GA05:28 a.m.06:57 a.m.01:36 p.m.05:17 p.m.08:15 p.m.09:39 p.m.02:23 a.m.
Chicago, IL04:12 a.m.05:57 a.m.12:49 p.m.04:39 p.m.07:42 p.m.09:20 p.m.01:22 a.m.
Dallas, TX05:18 a.m.06:47 a.m.01:26 p.m.05:06 p.m.08:04 p.m.09:28 p.m.02:12 a.m.
Denver, CO04:30 a.m.06:10 a.m.12:59 p.m.04:46 p.m.07:47 p.m.09:21 p.m.01:35 a.m.
Detroit, MI04:54 a.m.06:39 a.m.01:31 p.m.05:20 p.m.08:23 p.m.10:01 p.m.02:03 a.m.
Houston, TX05:21 a.m.06:46 a.m.01:21 p.m.04:57 p.m.07:55 p.m.09:15 p.m.02:11 a.m.
Los Angeles, CA04:43 a.m.06:12 a.m.12:52 p.m.04:33 p.m.07:31 p.m.08:56 p.m.01:39 a.m.
Miami, FL05:30 a.m.06:50 a.m.01:20 p.m.04:50 p.m.07:48 p.m.09:04 p.m.02:16 a.m.
New York City (NYC), NY04:23 a.m.06:05 a.m.12:55 p.m.04:43 p.m.07:44 p.m.09:19 p.m.01:30 a.m.
San Diego, CA04:42 a.m.06:10 a.m.12:47 p.m.04:27 p.m.07:25 p.m.08:48 p.m.01:35 a.m.
San Francisco, CA04:48 a.m.06:24 a.m.01:09 p.m.04:54 p.m.07:53 p.m.09:23 p.m.01:49 a.m.
Seattle, WA04:05 a.m.06:06 a.m.01:08 p.m.05:02 p.m.08:10 p.m.10:03 p.m.01:26 a.m.
Washington, DC04:43 a.m.06:21 a.m.01:07 p.m.04:53 p.m.07:53 p.m.09:25 p.m.01:45 a.m.
Boston, MA04:06 a.m.05:51 a.m.12:43 p.m.04:32 p.m.07:35 p.m.09:14 p.m.01:15 a.m.
Philadelphia, PA04:32 a.m.06:11 a.m.12:59 p.m.04:47 p.m.07:47 p.m.09:21 p.m.01:37 a.m.
Minneapolis, MN04:21 a.m.06:14 a.m.01:12 p.m.05:04 p.m.08:10 p.m.09:56 p.m.01:36 a.m.
Orlando, FL05:28 a.m.06:51 a.m.01:24 p.m.04:58 p.m.07:56 p.m.09:14 p.m.02:16 a.m.
Columbus, OH05:03 a.m.06:43 a.m.01:31 p.m.05:18 p.m.08:19 p.m.09:53 p.m.02:07 a.m.
Tampa, FL05:34 a.m.06:57 a.m.01:29 p.m.05:02 p.m.08:00 p.m.09:18 p.m.02:22 a.m.
Indianapolis, IN05:16 a.m.06:56 a.m.01:43 p.m.05:30 p.m.08:31 p.m.10:05 p.m.02:21 a.m.
Dearborn, MI04:55 a.m.06:40 a.m.01:32 p.m.05:21 p.m.08:23 p.m.10:02 p.m.02:03 a.m.
Charlotte, NC05:10 a.m.06:41 a.m.01:22 p.m.05:05 p.m.08:03 p.m.09:29 p.m.02:07 a.m.
Ann Arbor, MI04:57 a.m.06:42 a.m.01:34 p.m.05:23 p.m.08:26 p.m.10:04 p.m.02:06 a.m.
San Antonio, TX05:35 a.m.06:59 a.m.01:33 p.m.05:08 p.m.08:07 p.m.09:26 p.m.02:25 a.m.
Jersey City, NJ04:25 a.m.06:06 a.m.12:55 p.m.04:43 p.m.07:44 p.m.09:19 p.m.01:30 a.m.
Newark, NJ04:25 a.m.06:07 a.m.12:56 p.m.04:44 p.m.07:45 p.m.09:20 p.m.01:31 a.m.
Phoenix, AZ04:20 a.m.05:49 a.m.12:27 p.m.04:08 p.m.07:06 p.m.08:30 p.m.01:14 a.m.
Plano, TX05:18 a.m.06:47 a.m.01:26 p.m.05:06 p.m.08:04 p.m.09:28 p.m.02:12 a.m.
Saint Louis, MO04:35 a.m.06:12 a.m.12:59 p.m.04:46 p.m.07:46 p.m.09:18 p.m.01:38 a.m.
San Jose, CA04:47 a.m.06:22 a.m.01:06 p.m.04:51 p.m.07:50 p.m.09:20 p.m.01:48 a.m.

However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, this might restrict private gatherings due to social distancing guidelines.

Is Ramadan a Federal Holiday?

The holy month of fasting is not recognized as a national holiday, however, as many restaurants, cafes, and bars have closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this might impact opening hours for those offering food delivery.

For those working from home, some companies might also support employees who observe Ramadan. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, "Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for religious practices that don't cause an undue hardship on the company."

Some accommodations they mention include:

  • Adjusting work hours to help employees' dehydration
  • Offer light-duty jobs or job swaps for those who are fasting
  • Allow flexible breaks
  • Offer a place for prayer
  • Find a spot where fasters can nap during breaks because fasting makes some people tired
  • Let people use vacation days during Ramadan and especially during Eid al-Fitr

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

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