Ramadan is starting this year on Thursday, March 23. The date was determined as the first moon of a new lunar cycle was unable to be seen in Mecca Tuesday, determining Thursday as the start of the Muslim fasting month. While the length of Ramadan is the same for all Muslims observing it, the length of the daily fast certainly is not.
Because Muslims vow to abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, those living further north have to go without food and drink for much longer than their counterparts living closer to the equator or even in the Southern hemisphere which is celebrating Ramadan during winter. Muslims fasting for Ramadan in Oslo theoretically have to do so for almost 16.5 hours, according to website islamicfinder.com. Muslims in Jakarta, Indonesia, fast only for approximately 13 hours and 10 minutes. Finally, Melbourne in the Southern Hemisphere has just under 13 daylight hours depending on the exact day of the Ramadan month.
Some Muslims in Northern countries seem to feel unfairly treated by the lunar forces that govern Ramadan and found alternative solutions. According to reporting by Der Spiegel, the town of Tromsø in the very north of Norway has adopted the fasting hours of Mecca (just under 14 hours in 2023).