At the end of the holy month of Ramadan is the celebration known as Eid al-Fitr, “feast of breaking the fast,” which symbolizes the end of the Ramadan fast; however, since the date of Eid al-Fitr changes annually, when will celebrations begin in 2019?
Rabat – Eid al-Fitr celebrations start at the beginning of the month of Shawwal on the Islamic Calendar, which is based on the moon and lunar cycles. As a result, the date of Eid al-Fitr and the start of Shawwal changes every year.
According to the Islamic calendar, the start of the month is marked by the sighting of the first crescent of the full moon. Since the start of the month is marked by the moon, a new month begins in the evening.
Conversely, on the western Gregorian calendar, the start of the month is determined by the earth’s position around the sun and months begin on a predetermined date.
This discrepancy between the two calendars causes Islamic dates to shift by 10 or 11 days every year compared to Gregorian dates; therefore, the date of Eid al-Fitr changes each year and can be difficult to determine.
What date will Eid al-Fitr most likely fall on in 2019?
Although the celebration of Eid al-Fitr is dependent on sighting the crescent moon , many countries and organizations use astronomical charts and calendars to determine the date far in advance.
In Saudi Arabia and several neighbouring states in the Arabian Peninsula, the Umm al-Qura Calendar, created at the Institute of Astronomical & Geophysical Research of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, is used.
This calendar is also popular in parts of the world such as North America, but it has been heavily criticized by other Muslim communities which wait for the actual sighting of the crescent moon.
Last week, Moroccan astronomer Abdelaziz Kharbouch Al Ifrani announced that the crescent moon would be spotted in all Arab and most Muslim countries on Ramadan 29, 1440, which falls on June 4 on the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the first day of Shawwal would fall on June 5.
This claim corroborated the Umm al-Qura Calendar prediction, which also predicted that the crescent moon would be first sighted on Tuesday, June 4.
From Rabat to Mecca and Doha, all signs point to Eid al-Fitr falling on June 5 in most countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the west, Eid al-Fitr is expected to fall on similar dates this year, with the crescent moon expected to be visible in the both the United Kingdom and United States on June 4.