Ramadan: Longest and shortest fasting hours across the world

3/29/2023 6:43 AM

The length of fasting during Ramadan can vary depending on the location and time of year, resulting in differences in iftar times around the world.

In countries closer to the equator, the fasting period tends to be shorter due to the more consistent duration of daylight throughout the year.  

For example, in Muslim countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, the fasting period is usually around 13 to 14 hours.

In countries located further from the equator, the fasting period tends to be longer, as the duration of daylight varies depending on the season. For example, in Norway, located in the northern hemisphere, the fast can last longer than 20 hours during the summer months when the sun is visible for almost the entire day.

Religious rulings have been implemented in some of the world's northernmost cities, where the sun remains visible 24 hours a day for certain periods of the year. Individuals in these regions are advised to follow the schedule observed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia or the closest Muslim country to determine their fasting timings.

Despite these differences in iftar times around the world, the observance of Ramadan remains a unifying experience for Muslims worldwide.

Longest and shortest fasting period this year

This year, Muslims in the world's southernmost countries like Chile or New Zealand will fast for approximately 12 hours. In contrast, those residing in the northernmost countries like Iceland or Greenland will observe fasts that last for 17 or more hours.

Muslims in the northern hemisphere will experience a slightly shorter fast this year. The length of the fast will continue to decrease until 2031 when Ramadan coincides with the winter solstice, the day with the shortest daylight of the year.  

Afterwards, fasting hours will increase until the summer solstice, the day with the longest daylight hours. But the opposite trend will occur for Muslims living south of the equator.  

Listed below are the average fasting durations in various cities across the globe during Ramadan 2023.  

Top ten cities with the longest fasting hours

Nuuk, Greenland: 17 hours
Reykjavik, Iceland: 17 hours
Helsinki, Finland: 17 hours
Stockholm, Sweden: 17 hours
Glasgow, Scotland: 17 hours
Amsterdam, the Netherlands: 16 hours
Warsaw, Poland: 16 hours
London, UK: 16 hours
Astana, Kazakhstan: 16 hours
Brussels, Belgium: 16 hours

Top ten cities with the shortest fasting hours

Christchurch, New Zealand: 12 hours
Puerto Montt, Chile: 12 hours
Canberra, Australia: 12 hours
Montevideo, Uruguay: 12 hours
Cape Town, South Africa: 12 hours
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay: 12 hours
Buenos Aires, Argentina: 12 hours
Johannesburg, South Africa: 13 hours
Harare, Zimbabwe: 13 hours
Brasilia, Brazil: 13 hours