The first day of Eid al-Fitr is expected to fall on Friday, June 15, according to the International Astronomical Centre (IAC), in most Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar.
The official announcement depends on the moon sighting, if the new moon can be seen on June 14, then the holy month of Ramadan will end on Thursday and Friday will be the first day of Eid.
The IAC expects the crescent moon to be visible from all Islamic countries with the naked eye or through a telescope on the night of June 14.
Official Eid announcements are usually made within two hours of sunset because the new moon rises and sets with the sun (or within an hour).
According to the IAC, this year, the crescent is expected to rise 49 minutes after sunset in Rabat, 46 minutes after sunset in Mogadishu, Khartoum, Tripoli and Algeria, 45 minutes in Djibouti and Tunisia, 44 minutes in Sanaa, 43 minutes in Cairo, 42 minutes in Riyadh, Amman and Jerusalem, 41 minutes in Beirut, Doha, Damascus, Manama and Abu Dhabi, and 40 minutes in Baghdad, Kuwait and Muscat.
Visibility of the crescent moon depends on the sighting location and on meteorological conditions.
According to the Astronomical Data Portal, the next new moon will occur on Wednesday, June 13 at 19:43 GMT but sightings are extremely unlikely for observers.
The first visibility of the new crescent moon on Thursday, June 14 using amateur telescopes may be possible in south-western Asia, India and northern parts of the Middle East.
Naked-eye sightings could happen in South Africa, northern Africa, the south-western part of Saudi Arabia and southern Spain later the same day.
It should also be visible from central and western Africa, the United States, Central America, the Caribbean and South America on the same date.
Eid Mubarak in Arabic means “blessed celebration” and is a common greeting for Eid al-Fitr. Other greetings include:
- Ciid wanaagsan – as used in Somalia.
- Mutlu Bayramlar – as commonly used in Turkey.
- Selamat Idul Fitri – used in Indonesia.
- Selamat Hari Raya – is used in Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore.
- Barka da Sallah – as used in some parts of Nigeria.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast” and marks the end of Ramadan. Eid is an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries, but the number of days varies by country.
Muslims across the world begin Eid day celebrations by partaking in the yearly prayer service that takes place shortly after dawn.
This is preceded by the giving of alms to the poor, or Zakat, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
It is common for the capitals of Muslim majority countries to decorate their cities with festive lights and hold carnivals to commemorate the end of the holy month, with children dressed in new clothes, offered gifts and money to celebrate the joyous occasion.