Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court on Thursday called for sighting the crescent of Dhul Hijja on Saturday evening.
Reports that the crescent was sighted would make Sunday August 12 the first day of the 12th month on the lunar-based Islamic calendar and August 21 the first day of Eid Al Adha, the Day of the Sacrifice.
If the crescent is not reported, the first day of Dhul Hijja will be on Monday and the first day of Eid celebrated on August 22.
All Arab countries celebrate Eid Al Adha by giving employees and students at least two days off.
In the Arabian Gulf, the holidays could be from three days to up to 10 days.
In Kuwait, state employees will have nine days off after the government gave them five days to celebrate the religious occasion. With the addition of the two weekends at either end of the working week, the employees will have nine consecutive days of rest.
Thousands have already drawn up plans to travel abroad, although Dubai, Bahrain, Turkey and London remain among their favourite destinations.
In Saudi Arabia, bank employees will have a nine-day holiday after the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority said that the break would be from August 17 until August 25.
Only banks at sites where pilgrims congregated as they performed Haj would remain open throughout the holidays, the authority said.
Eid Al Adha is celebrated by Muslims around 70 days after Eid Al Fitr which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Around 2.5 million Muslims mark Eid Al Adha in Makkah where they perform Haj. On the day preceding Eid, they stand on Mount Arafat, in the outskirts of Makkah, where they spend their time praying and supplicating God for forgiveness and rewards.
Muslim families slaughter sheep on Eid Al Adha to commemorate Prophet Ebrahim’s devotion to God and his readiness to sacrifice his son.