Dates of Ramazan (Ramadan) and Ramazan Bayramı(The feast of Ramadan) in 2021

Ramazan (Ramadan) and Ramazan Bayram are important for the Islam world since Ramazan refers to the month in which the sacred book of Islam, Qur’an was first started to be sent by God in Ramazan month, and Ramazan Bayram refers to the 3-day long holiday at the end of this month. Ramazan and Ramazan Bayram include some religious duties and traditions which evolves around the construct of unity and togetherness. 

Dates of Ramazan and Ramazan Bayram in 2021

Ramazan will begin on April 13 and will end on May 12 in 2021, whereas Ramazan Bayram starts on May 13 and ends on May 15. The dates of Ramazan and Ramazan Bayram changes annually.

To see the list of all national and religious holidays in Turkey, click here.

What is Ramazan?

Ramazan is a sacred month in Islam since Qur’an’s first verses were sent in this month to Prophet Mohammad. To be more specific, Qur’an’s first verses were sent to Prophet Mohammad in Qadr Night. Even though the exact date of Qadr Night is still not known precisely, it is accepted as the 27th day of Ramazan each year. In Qur’an, Ramazan is referred to as the month that worth more than a thousand months and is usually referred to as the “sultan of the 11 months”.

Ramazan is the month that Muslims must fast. This rule is valid for only those who can, for instance, if a Muslim has to use a medicine in order to survive, they do not have to fast on Ramazan. In addition to fasting, Muslims need to be extra careful about their behaviors in Ramazan. Muslims help others in Ramazan regardless of their religion. Even though some Muslims do not follow the rules of Islam strictly in other months, typically they follow those rules in Ramazan. For instance, alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and even though a Muslim individual drinks in other months, there is a high chance that they will not use alcohol in Ramadan.

What is Fasting as a Religious Duty?

Fasting is among the 5 religious duties of Islam. According to Qur’an, Muslim individuals must fast every day of Ramadan starting from dawn, and they can break the fast in the sunset. A Muslim individual who is fasting cannot drink or eat anything in between those hours. Muslim people typically wake up before dawn in Ramadan and eat a meal called “suhoor”, which will be their only meal until sunset. People cannot engage in sexual intercourse or say a bad word while they are fasting.

Children, pregnant women, elderly people, sick people, breastfeeding women, and the people on the move are exempt from fasting. In addition, women who have their period cannot fast in some sects of Islam, yet they have to fast in another day except Ramazan to fill in the gap. Additionally, several fatwas given in hot weathers about being exempt from fasting in Ramazan in some sects of Islam. People who cannot fast on Ramazan should do charity to fill this important religious duty.

What is Qadr Night?

Qadr Night is an important night that takes place in Ramazan month. As I mentioned earlier, Qadr Night is the night where the first verses of the Qur’an were sent from heaven to Prophet Mohammad. This night has a significant place in Ramazan month. In Islam, it is believed that all your sins can be forgiven in Qadr Night, and fasting and praying on the day of the Qadr Night is quite recommended among Muslim people. I have mentioned people who follow the rules of Islam especially Ramazan, and some people do not fast all Ramazan long but only fasts on the day of the Qadr Night.

What is Ramazan Bayramı (Şeker Bayramı / Feast of Ramadan )?

Ramazan Bayram is also as known as Şeker Bayram (Şeker means candy in Turkish) and marks the date when Ramazan month is over, people break their obligatory fasts for the next year. There are different theories about why Ramazan Bayram is also referred to as Şeker Bayram.

In the Ottoman periods, Ramazan Bayram was referred to as  Iyd-ı Fıtr, and fıtr refers to the charity that people cannot fast, which translated as “şükür” in Turkish. Some say that it is because since the name of the charity that people who cannot fast is named “şükür” (means gratitude in English) charity. And since the words şükür and şeker are similar, the name şükür eventually transformed into şeker, and the holiday is now called as Şeker Bayram.

Another theory is about the traditions in Ramazan Bayram. Ramazan Bayram is a holiday where lots of confectionery and candies are served to guests, and some say that Ramazan Bayram’s other name is named after this tradition.

Ramazan Bayramı Traditions

Since Ramazan Bayramı is a religious holiday that is being celebrated for many years, it has some traditions that people follow to this day. On the first day of Ramazan Bayram, men go to the mosque and perform Eid prayers in the early morning. After the Eid prayers, the imam reads the sermon.

Starting from the beginning of the Ramazan Bayram to the end of it, people gather together including family and friends, and celebrate the Ramazan Bayramı together. One important aspect of Ramazan Bayram is togetherness, and you can see lots of crowded households during Ramazan Bayramı. Typically, younger people visit the elderly ones’ houses, and serving cologne, confectionery and candy is a part of this gathering.

Being clean and properly dressed is an important aspect of the Ramazan Bayramı. Such that, there is a concept referring to the special clothes that are just bought for the holidays. Another tradition in Ramazan Bayramı is kissing the elderly people’s hand. Young ones kiss the old people in the family’s hand and subsequently puts their hands to the forehead of themselves. It is a tradition to give money after a child kisses the elderly individuals’ hand.

As I mentioned earlier, Ramazan Bayramı is a holiday that reinforces togetherness and family bonds. People who are offended by each other are expected to make peace in Ramazan Bayramı. Even though the situation is quite bad, and those two people are not talking at all, it is still expected those two people to celebrate each other’s holiday if nothing.

Visiting the grave of the dead ones in the family is also a tradition in Ramazan Bayramı. People go to the grave of their loved ones and takes care of the grave, as a way of celebrating their bayram.

Why do the Dates of Ramazan Change Every Year?

Dates of Ramazan change every year because initially the dates of Ramazan were defined according to the Hijri calendar(Islamic lunar calendar). Hijri calendar includes 11 to 12 days less than the Gregorian calendar, and since the Gregorian calendar is used and the dates are defined according to the Hijri calendar, the dates of Ramazan are different each year.

Frequently asked questions about Ramazan and Ramazan Bayram

Ramazan and Ramazan Bayram can be quite interesting times for you if you have never been in a place with a majority of Muslims in those periods. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Ramazan and Ramazan Bayram.

Can I eat or drink anything in front of people that are fasting?

Technically yes but if you have a chance not to, not eating or drinking in front of people that are fasting is highly recommended. They are fulfilling a duty of something that they believe in, and not eating or drinking might be difficult for them. Not making them remember food or drinks would be better for them, if you can.

Can a person who is fasting can smoke?

Smoking is not allowed while fasting in Islam.

Is it allowed to party in Ramadan?

Loud music and partying may not be tolerated by people who are fasting, but there are no restrictions about it.

How can I celebrate a Muslim individual’s Ramazan?

In Turkey, you should say “Bayramınız mübarek olsun”. In other countries, you can say “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem” which means happy Ramadan and have a generous Ramadan, respectively.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

You may also like...