June 3, 2019 – Mulim countries including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and others have declared Tuesday as the first day of Eid Al Fitr.
A moon-sighting committee in UAE has announced that Tuesday will be the first day of the month of Shawwal, and therefore the first day of Eid Al Fitr.
The moon-sighting committee met on Monday evening under the chairmanship of Minister of Justice Sultan Al Badi, along with a number of senior officials, and saw the crescent moon that signals the start of a new month in the Islamic calendar.
Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced that private sector workers will have four days off for Eid this year, starting on Monday, while government workers have the whole week off.
This year’s committee, which was set up on Thursday, includes a mixture of court officials from Abu Dhabi and Ras al Khaimah, astronomers and advisers from the UAE’s Islamic authority.
Astronomers gathered in Jebel Hafeet on Monday evening in a bid to spot the new crescent moon signalling the end of Ramadan.
The UAE’s moon-sighting committee uses a two pronged approach, first searching for the new moon using telescopes and then confirming the new moon by sighting it with the naked eye.
Eid Al Fitr celebrations begin with Eid prayers at fajr, or dawn, and involve prayers performed in a group and specific particular rituals and a sermon. Muslims are advised to follow the tradition of Prophet Mohammed and bathe before Eid prayers, wearing perfume and new clothes.
Muslims celebrate Eid Al Fitr for two or three days by visiting families and loved ones.
It is also set to be a big weekend of shopping, and cinemas are set to stay open for 24 hours a day during the festive period.
There will be fireworks at Le Mer, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi Corniche, both at 9pm on the first day of Eid, and at other spots around the country.
The Islamic calendar is determined by moon phases making each month last either 29 or 30 days. Islamic years span on average between 354 and 355 days.
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