Denmark among the worst countries in the world to observe the month of Ramadan

To be fair, though, the fasting is going to be much easier than in the previous decade, when the holy month has fallen in the height of summer

What do the capital cities Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Montevideo and Canberra have in common? Well, yes, their southern hemisphere location is linked to the answer, but it’s not really geographical.

Specifically, the four cities in question will over the next month offer a considerable 11-12 hours of darkness every day, and while this is a godsend for nightlife establishment owners, ghostbusters, nocturnists, moth trappers and voyeurs, it’s like winning the World Cup for one considerable segment of the world’s population.

Beginning tonight, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan requires all Muslims to fast during daylight hours. For those living in Denmark, where the sun is out (if only!) for 17-18 hours, it can be quite an ordeal!

Better off in Montevideo!
Of course, telling Muslims they would be better off in Montevideo does sound a tiny bit Islamophobic, but the sad truth is that only three capital cities in the world offer worse conditions than Copenhagen during the month of Ramadan this year.

Nuuk in Greenland and Reykjavik in Iceland currently offer 19-20 hours of daylight, closely followed by Helsinki in Finland with 18-19 hours. In the Danish capital, 17-18 hours are available. 

The timing of the month of Ramadan changes every year due to the shorter months (29-30 days) of the Hijri calendar. In 2022 it will begin around April 1, and by 2030 in January. By that time, the reverse will be true! 

Set your clocks by Mecca!
You might be wondering what happens when the sun doesn’t set, which will be the case in the weirdly-named Norwegian mining town of Longyearbyen from April 20 to August 22. In such cases, Muslims are instructed to follow the timings in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or the nearest Muslim country.

So, in case the early evening hunger pains are becoming unbearable for some of our Muslim readers, it might be worth knowing that Longyearbyen is only 2,500 km away from Copenhagen – due north.

The month of Ramadan not only requires abstinence from eating, but also drinking all liquids, smoking and sexual relations.

It takes around 33 years for the month of Ramadan to come full circle. In 2054, it is scheduled to start around April 13.