According to Hassan Ahmed Al Hariri, chief executive officer of the Dubai Astronomy Group, seeing two Ramadans in one year is not unusual because the lunar month advances by 11 days every year. "The solar calendar and the lunar calendar operate independently of one another and are distinct." This means that the months on Earth do not always align with the moon's orbit around the earth.
The lunar calendar is about 29 days shorter than the solar calendar so it is not possible for them to coincide exactly. If they did, then the new moon would happen at the same time as the full moon or the half moon. Because this does not happen, people have invented ways to approximate how many days are in each month. For example, if the moon was always fully illuminated, then a day on the lunar calendar would be just over 30 hours long. However, because the moon has a slightly elliptical orbit, some parts of the surface experience darkness.
In addition, the moon's orbit is not constant: it increases by about 3% every century. So over time, the average distance between the moon and the earth changes too. All these factors mean that even though there are two Ramadans every year, they do not occur simultaneously.
The lunar month starts when the moon comes out from behind Earth's shadow and ends when it goes back into it. Every month has two phases: a waxing phase and a waning phase.
The Islamic calendar is lunar, which means that each month begins with the appearance of a new astronomical moon. Because lunar months are shorter than solar months, the Islamic calendar does not correlate with the Gregorian calendar used in the West, hence Ramadan begins around 11 days earlier each year.
Ramadan starts at sunset on the 20th day of May and ends at sunset on the 20th day of June. It is the ninth month of the Muslim year and occurs once every year during the daylight hours only. The entire period is called "the month of fasting" or "the month of ramadaan".
During this time, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking between sunrise and sunset. They may eat and drink before and after this period, but while fasting they consume nothing by mouth except water. Since the consumption of food is one of the pleasures of life, this deprivation can be difficult to endure for more than a few hours at a time.
People tend to think that if you don't eat for several hours then you will die. This is not true - anyone who states that must have been told so by someone who doesn't know about Islam. Fasting has many benefits including health ones. People who fast often say they feel rejuvenated after breaking their fast.
Why does the date change every year?
The first day of Ramadan is called "the sighting of the new moon". It occurs when Muslims realize that it is night time and the new moon has been sighted. They remember this moment by praying or reading from the Qur'an during the evening hours.
The second important event on the first day of Ramadan is when the sun rises again after having gone down during the previous day's sunset. Muslims believe that God sent his son Jesus Christ to be a prophet and they expect him to return to Earth at some point in the future. When Jesus returns to Earth, he will have many friends who have also lived among us. These people are known as "the prophets" and they include Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, Joseph, and others. When Jesus returns, he will be able to tell people when they should pray and give charity and other things that would help people improve their lives. At this time, he will also judge those who have died without receiving the Gospel message. Christians believe that this final judgment occurred in December 6, 33 A.D., and the first day of Ramadan in 767 A.D.