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The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has announced that the holy fasting month of Ramadan will start, in North America, on Saturday, August 22, 2009.
In the same communique, the ISNA said that astronomical calculations showed that this year's Ramadan will be 29 days and, therefore, that the first day of the month of Shawwal (the "Eid Al-Fitr" festival) will be on Sunday, September 20, 2009.
The beginning of Ramadan calculations, based on the ISNA methodology, show that, in Mecca, on the day of the New Moon (August 20), the Moon sets one minute before the Sun, and that, therefore, the 21st of August is not the 1st of Ramadan.
On the other hand, for the end of Ramadan, the same methodology shows that the New Moon occurs at 21:44 on September 18, and that on the next day, the Moon sets a full 15 minutes after the Sun, thus meeting the ISNA criteria.
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