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Eid al Fitr, the days-long celebration that follows Ramadan, will see Muslims everywhere eat regular meals once again. The month of Ramadan prohibits healthy, adult observers from traditional pleasures to pursue closeness with God. They give up food and drink from dawn to dusk, as well as sex, smoking and more, and Eid allows them to pick up these habits again.
Has the moon been sighted?
The Islamic calendar, which dictates months in the Muslim world, operates on the lunar cycle.
And tradition Eid starts with a crescent moon observed by specifically selected “sighters”.
They exist in both central roles in Saudi Arabia and other countries and local mosques.
Sighters must keep an eye on the sky and look for Eid al Fitr’s herald, the “Shawwal Moon”.
Without a Moon sighting, Eid expectations revolve around predictions made using astronomical charts.
The Saudi-Arabia based Jeddah Astronomical Association predicts Eid will arrive this Wednesday, May 12.
Depending on how people celebrate, the occasion could end on May 13 or 14.
According to timeanddate.com, the new Moon will emerge on the night of May 11 at 7.59pm.
The waxing crescent follows the day after as expected on May 12.
As of May 10, sighters have not spotted the New Moon.
The Moon’s current phase is waning crescent when the last amount of light hits the natural satellite.
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Ultimately, current expected timelines are subject to local changes and how people prefer to observe Eid.
Muslims may decide to follow central Moon sighters in Saudi Arabia or their local mosque.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court traditionally asks residents to look out for the Moon themselves.
They can then report their findings, and, if confirmed, the court makes the official decision for Eid to commence.
Individual mosques in the UK and elsewhere may also decide to declare the occasion by their own reckoning, although the weather will impact their ability to do so reliably.
Eid al Fitr dates vary every year, thanks to its asynchronous orbit with the western Gregorian calendar.
The latter document runs on solar rather than lunar days.
As such, Eid tends to run back ten days a year, and in 2022 will likely fall on May 2.
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