With Ramadan only days away, here is what you need to know about the Muslim holy month and fasting.

Ramadan will begin on the evening of April 2 and end 29 or 30 days later, around May 1.

However, the beginning and end dates may change depending on the sighting of the new moon.

Get answers to some of the most common questions about Ramadan.

Lancashire Telegraph: A Muslim woman kneeling and reading. Credit: PAA Muslim woman kneeling and reading. Credit: PA

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is said to be the period when the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

During late evening prayers, called ‘Taraweeh’, chapters of the Holy Quran are recited, most notably but not exclusively in mosque congregations.

What is Eid?

Eid is the festival held immediately after Ramadan ends.

Again, it is announced at the sighting of the new moon so this may differ between different countries during some years.

This is the first of two Eid festivals taking place during the year – the second coincides with the annual Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).

What happens during Ramadan?

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims won't eat or drink during the hours of daylight and they perform additional religious duties and prayers.

You cannot drink water or the fast is invalid and vaping or smoking is also not permitted which is why many use this time of year to try and quit.

The fast is from sunrise to sunset which means that during the autumn and winter period the fast is shorter whilst in the summer the fast lasts longer.

‘Sahur’ is the time in the morning when Muslims will eat and ‘Iftaar’ is the time in the evening when the fast is broken.

There are exceptions for children and those who have medical conditions.

Is Ramadan just about fasting?

No, it is a lot more than that and during the holy month of Ramadan, a Muslim is encouraged to go on a journey of self-improvement physically, mentally and spiritually.

There are all sorts of personal reasons why someone may not be fasting.

A woman will not fast during the menstrual cycle and others may not be fasting due to a medical condition.

Once the fast opens, some people do like to eat large amounts but many soon learn that moderation is better for the body.

Of course, that does not mean there are some sumptuous meals served when it comes to breaking the fast!

And if you want to join your Muslim neighbour one day, just ask.

How can I support someone that is fasting?

Does it bother you if I eat in front of you?

Just because someone is fasting does not mean everyone else should change their behaviour around them.

People can be considerate but a Muslim won’t be offended if you have to eat your lunch!

Is it okay if I fast for one day?

You are welcome to fast and many Muslims will be more than happy to assist you with some simple advice and the type of foods to eat before you begin your fast.

In fact, it is a wonderful gesture to join another Muslim and fast for just one day.

How can a manager help during the working day?

Employers can encourage employees to take regular breaks and note prayer times during the day.

You could arrange shifts to accommodate employees' preferences where possible, for example, so that an employee can finish work in time to break the fast at sunset.