The first day of Eid Al Fitr ultimately depends on the observation of the moon by the moonsighting committee. Image Credit: Reader picture: Courtesy Abdul Azeez

Dubai: Eid Al Fitr in the UAE will be either on Saturday, May 23 or on Sunday, May 24 depending on the moonsighting. However, an astronomer says that Eid in the UAE is mostly likely to fall on May 24.

The UAE’s moonsighting committee will meet on May 22 to look for the crescent moon to mark the beginning of Shawwal, the Islamic month after Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal.

How is Eid day decided

Eid will fall on May 23 if the crescent moon is sighted on May 22, otherwise it will be on May 24. Islamic months comprise of 29 or 30 days, which are based on a lunar cycle.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources in the UAE has already announced Eid Al Fitr holidays from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3 as per the Islamic calendar.

Four or five days holidays

If the moon is sighted on May 22, the month of Ramadan will have 29 days and May 23 will be Shawwal 1 and the first day of Eid. However, if the moon is sighted on May 23, then May 24 will be Shawwal 1 and the first day of Eid. This means that UAE residents will get one additional day off if the Eid falls on May 24.

UAE residents will get a total of four days of holidays (from May 22 to May 25) if Eid falls on May 23. Nevertheless, they will enjoy five days holidays (from May 22 to May 26) if Eid falls on May 24.

Eid Al Fitr is celebrated to mark the end of fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to fast on the first day of Eid and the day is traditionally and religiously celebrated with feasts, family and community gatherings.

What astronmer says

Ebrahim Al Jarwan, General Supervisor at Sharjah Planetarium, says that Eid is mostly likely to fall on May 24; He explained that through calculations based on astronomy, one could determine when dates or months on the Islamic (Hijri) calendar fall.

“The new moon for the month of Shawwal 1441 hijri will be on May 22 after sunset but it will not be visible to the naked eye, so according to my calculations, we will be able to see the new moon in the UAE on Saturday May 23. This means that the first day of Eid Al Fitr will fall on May 24, on a Sunday,” he said.

What is Eid

Live Taraweeh prayers transmission

Meanwhile, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (ICAD) in Dubai in cooperation with Dubai Media incorporated, announced there would be a live broadcast of the Isha and Taraweeh prayers through Dubai media’s channels starting May 17. The prayers in the mosques are confined to the Imam and two worshippers, taking into full consideration all precautionary and preventative measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision is aimed to maintain the spiritual nature of Ramadan and ensure people remain in constant contact with mosques in light of the current circumstances.