One of the most notable things about important Islamic holidays and dates is that they constantly change every year. This year, Hajj started on September 9th but next year, Hajj will approximately start on October 29th. Every year, the dates move backwards in the calendar by roughly eleven days. The reason for this is because Muslims follow the lunar calendar. But why do they follow this as opposed to the Gregorian calendar?
What is the Lunar Calendar?
The lunar calendar is essentially the same as a traditional calendar but each month has a set amount of days that coincides with the cycle of the Moon. The phase cycle of the Moon is equivalent to 29.5 days, from new moon to the next new moon, so if we say that there are 12 months in the lunar calendar, the total amount of days in the lunar year equate to 354 days.
This is roughly 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, which has 365.25 days in its calendar, which is why the Islamic calendar seems like it moves backwards every year.
Why Do Muslims Follow This Calendar?
One of the biggest reasons as to why Muslims follow the lunar calendar as opposed to the traditional Gregorian calendar is that the lunar months aren’t fixed to certain months. For example, in the Gregorian calendar, summer always occurs in the months of June, July, and August.
For the lunar calendar, it means that the month of Ramadan isn’t set to a specific season. For example, one year, Ramadan would occur in the winter and then a decade later, it will occur in autumn. This is beneficial because it means that every Muslim around the world experiences the changing seasons of Ramadan, Hajj, and every other Islamic holiday.
If Muslims followed the Gregorian calendar, then Ramadan would be set to one month around the world. This means that, for example, if Ramadan occurs in the summer in the northern hemisphere, it would occur in the winter in the southern hemisphere, which puts the Muslims in the northern hemisphere at a disadvantage because they have to fast for a longer amount of time compared to other Muslims around the world.
As a result, every Muslim around the world gets to experience each Islamic holiday, whether that be the month of Ramadan or the Hajj pilgrimage, in different seasons and for a different time period, spanning an average of 33 years of their lifetime.
At Hajj and Umra Express, we understand the important of the Islamic holidays, which is why we put so much care and consideration into the holiday packages that we provide, such as our Umrah packages. If you like to know any more information, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Just give us a call today on 08000 141419 and we will be more than happy to help with any enquiries you may have.