Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, will be observed from approximately 26 May to 24 June 2017. The exact timing will depend on sightings of the moon which will vary from country to country.

For Muslims this is a time of prayer and fasting, in which Muslims refrain from eating, drinking or smoking, between dawn and sunset. 

New Zealanders are advised to respect the religious and social traditions of the country they are in to avoid offending local sensitivities. This is particularly important during Ramadan. Eating, drinking and smoking in public may be illegal during this time in some Islamic countries and visitors should seek local advice on appropriate behaviour. People who are not fasting are recommended to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in the presence of those who are fasting. Modesty and discretion in both dress and behaviour should be exercised more strenuously during this holy period.

Roads can be busier and traffic more erratic than usual during Ramadan, particularly during the afternoon and early evening, so greater caution and patience is encouraged at this time.

During this period some restaurants, businesses and tourist facilities may be closed between sunrise and sunset, or operate with amended opening hours. You should seek local advice and plan accordingly. 

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