A man reads from the Koran, Islam's holiest book, during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan [Representational Image]MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

The International Astronomical Center (IAC) has predicted that the holy month of Ramadan will begin on May 6. The day is marked by the first day of the ninth month of the Hejric calendar. The moon sighting committee will officially announce the starting and ending of the dawn till dusk fasting for the Muslim population across the world.

According to the director of the IAC, Mohammad Shaukat, the Moon is likely to be visible on May 5 in the east and south-east of India and southern Europe and the Arab nations.

The Islamic calendar is based upon the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases, (lunar calendar) which are either 29 or 30 days long depending on the visibility of the moon.

Ramadan begins the morning after the new moon is seen, there are exceptions also, during the summer season the hot weather prevents the astronomers from seeing the moon. During such occasions, Ramadan is called based on certain calculations.

Ramadan, ramadan 2017, eid al-fitr, eid al-fitr 2017
Muslims offer prayers during Ramadan month inside Jama Masjid in the old quarters of New Delhi.Reuters file [Representational Image]

This year, the crescent moon is expected to form on May 5 around 2.46 am (UAE) meaning it will not be seen after Maghrib prayer until the evening of May 6, which is predicted to be the first day of Ramadan, reports The National.

Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for the people of the Islamic faith. Over the course of the month, Muslims across the world takes up fasting also performs other religious activities such as praying, giving to charity, reciting the Holy Qur'an.

After completing the religious observance of fasting for 29 or 30 days according to the Hejric calendar, people of the Islamic faith will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal by marking the end of Ramadan.