Rabat – Moroccans will ring in the Islamic New Year 1439 on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, according to the Observatory of Ribat Al Fath .
The date is determined according to lunar observation. On Wednesday, September 20, it will be impossible to see the lunar crescent in Morocco with the naked eye. With illuminated surface of only 0.4%, is will only be observable through astronomical instruments like binoculars or telescopes.
The following day, Thursday, Sept. 21, it will be possible to see the moon with the naked eye in Morocco as well as the rest of the world, meaning the New Year’s day will be on Sept. 22
Like in many countries in the Arab world, in Morocco the Islamic New Year is a public holiday.
The Islamic New Year, or Hijri New Year, falls on the first day of the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.
Muharram is considered the second holiest month in the Islamic calendar, after Ramadan. It is a time for remembrance of old times, mourning and reflection on important events of the past.
The name Hijri refers to the Hijra, or the migration of the prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina between June 21 and July 2, 622 CE.
The Islamic New Year moves about 11 days each year. Each country announces its date based on moon sightings, several countries depending on astronomical charts to work out the Hijri calendar in advance.