Holidays alert : Eid Al Adha 2016 expected to be on September 11

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This year’s Eid al-Adha is expected to fall on Sunday, September 11, according to leading astronomers.

The Sharjah Planetarium has forecast that the Hilal (crescent) will appear on Thursday, September 1. It added that by that calculation Sunday, September 11, is the first day of Eid Al Adha, ‘Al Ittihad’ newspaper reports.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Researcher and General Supervisor, Sharjah Planetarium, said the Hilal (crescent) should be above the Western horizon by at least 5 degrees and will remain above the horizon after sunset for at least 20 minutes.

In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha occurs on the 10th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and is also the third day of the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

  • If a new moon is sighted on September 1, then the first day of Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on Sunday, September 11.
  • But if the moon is not visible on the month’s first day, then the festival will be celebrated on Monday, September 12.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia will confirm the actual dates of the Muslim festival and the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca on September 1 based on the sighting of the moon.

Public and private holidays

Eid Al Adha holidays usually begin a day before Eid, on the day of Arafat. Traditionally, the festival lasts for four days but public holidays vary from country to country.

  • If Eid Al Adha falls on September 11, private sector employees will most likely have 4-day break – from September 9 to 12 and resume work on Tuesday, September 13.
  • If Eid Al Adha falls on September 12, private sector employees will most likely have 5-day break – from September 9 to 13 and resume work on Wednesday, September 14.

In either cases, public sector is expected to have 9-day break – from Friday, September 9 to Saturday, September 17.

Saudi Arabia’s moon-sighting committee will meet on September 1 to announce Haj and Eid dates. Barring some Asia countries, most of the Arab countries and the Muslims in the Western countries mark Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha on the same days.

Since the Islamic Hijri calendar is based on moon sighting, Islamic months span over 29 or 30 days – unlike 31 days in Gregorian calendar.

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Eid al-Adha in Arabic literally means “festival of the sacrifice”. It commemorates the day when prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son but was instructed by God to offer an animal instead.

– Mohamed Faisal / NRICafe.com

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