Abu Dhabi Weather

Monday, September 6, 2010

Surprise Holiday

With the end of Ramadan nearing, the holiday of Eid Alfitr is approaching. The end of the Ramadan is not definite until the higher ups view the moon and determine that Ramadan is finished and Eid can begin. Because there is a rumor that the sighting of the new moon will be Thursday, the first day of Eid will be Friday. Eid lasts three days, but since we have Friday and Saturday off anyway, most people were only planning on having Sunday off. While a three-day weekend is nothing to scoff at, we did kind of lose out this year. That is, until the surprise holiday was sprung on us...

Yesterday just after quitting time we received an email from the head of HCT saying that we would be getting Wednesday and Thursday off. Depending on what night the new moon is declared, we might have Sunday off too.

There are some sites that suggest that the new moon can be more accurately predicted using astrology than by deciding by viewing it with the naked eye. When I pointed this out to a co-worker of mine, I was told that it depends on the country. For example, the UAE and Oman which are geographically very close, often declare the end of Ramadan on different days. There was a slight suggestion that the decision of when there is a new moon might even be political and that the person who will view the new moon with the naked eye already knows which night he plans on viewing it.

Despite predictions that the moon sighting will beThursday night, I just found this document from the European Council for Fatwa and Research that declares the moon sighting will be Wednesday meaning that Eid will begin on Thursday and that we won't have Sunday off. Of course, just because the officials in Europe have called it for Wednesday night, that doesn't mean the same for the UAE, though it is a strike against having Sunday off.

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