By christophersaul on Sep 29, 2008
Eid Al Fitr may be tomorrow. Or it might be Wednesday.
In the past, dates for the beginning and end of Ramadan have always been unclear, due to the fact that the start of the month is based on the sighting of the moon. This year was a bit different - it was announced at least two weeks before that Ramadan would begin on September 1. For this reason, I had expected that the dates for Eid would be confirmed well in advance as well, but that hasn't been the case.
Eid is still expected on Weds in the UAE, but due to announcements or expectations in Egypt and Saudi, it may be tomorrow. I'll find out tomorrow morning if I have Tues and Weds off, or if it's Weds and Thursday.
Mrs Saul was expecting to have Monday 30 to Thursday 2 off. That has stayed the same. On last Thursday evening, the ministry announced that Sunday 28 would be a holiday for schools as well. This late announcement was probably welcomed by pupils, but it did mean that it was too late for people to make use of the full holiday period. If this had been known earlier, I'm sure lots of people would have made use of the longer holiday period to go away for longer. It wasn't much of a holiday for teachers - most seem to have used Sunday to rearrange all their lesson plans!
There seem to be two schools of thought in the Islamic world, as far as I can see. One group prefer the traditional option of actually being able to see the new moon with the naked eye. The other prefer to use scientific methods to predict a new moon.
Coming from a culture where we are used to knowing the dates of holidays and other events well in advance, I would prefer the latter for its convenience. I can understand the preference for the traditional approach though.