Ramadan begins tomorrow and ends August 18th in New Zealand. Actually it begins after sunset tonight when the new moon is seen. Islam uses the Lunar calendar so each year it is about 11 days earlier on the Gregorian calendar than the previous year.
During the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. This is a time of fasting and a time of prayer. For athletes competing in the Olympics, this could be difficult. They have to decide for themselves whether they will fast or not.
New Zealand has about 40,000 Muslims, just under 1% of the population. Most of them live in Auckland. They come from 40 different countries. The largest group is Indian, from Fiji.
• Which sports would be the hardest for athletes to train and compete in while they are fasting?
• Do Christian and Jewish athletes have worries about training and competing on certain holy days?
• What other events (e.g. exams) cause difficulties for Muslims at this time?
• In Northern Hemisphere countries, Ramadan falls during the summer this year. How might this be difficult for Muslims?