i've been inspired by deborah's star chart which she kept while abstaining from alcohol in july. i really enjoyed reading the posts, which offered something interesting each day. and since imitation is the best form of flattery (well, that's my excuse for being a copycat!), i thought i might make an effort to do something similar during ramadan.
however, the focus for me this month will be to examine various aspects of my privilege - of the things that i have which make me so much better off than the majority of the world's population. which, now that i read that back, sounds like boasting. what i mean is that it's an opportunity to be thankful for the positive aspects of my life, and to think about those who have missed out and what that might mean for them.
i'm not sure that i'll be able to do a full 30 days of posts because of my flagging energy levels during the month. but i'm going to give it a try.
the muslim calendar is based on lunar months, not solar months. there are various differing opinions regarding the determination of what day the new month starts (see here for some basic information). here in nz, we tend towards the view that the moon has to be physically sighted before the new month can start. if the moon is not sighted in nz, we look to fiji and if the moon has been sighted there, then we start the new month on the basis that they are on the same latitude. there's a lot of science behind moon sighting as well, which informs the various opinions and there is no standard approach across muslim countries.
not only is the calendar different, but the start of day is also different to what we are used to here. in nz, a new day starts at midnight, but for us the new day starts at sunset. so, tomorrow night people will be out looking for the new crescent moon and if it is sighted, tomorrow night will be the first "day" of ramadan.