The Eid Al Fitr holiday for private sector employees will be Shawwal 1-2, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced on Tuesday.

Depending on when Eid begins, Shawwal 1 will either coincide with Friday, June 15, or Saturday, June 16.

“It is decided that the first and second days of the month of Shawwal 1439 Hijri shall be a paid vacation for all private sector employees on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr,” a circular issued by Minister Nasser Al Hameli said.

If Eid falls on Friday (making Ramadan 29 days), private sector companies be closed until Saturday, with work resuming on Sunday. Should it fall on Saturday (making Ramadan 30 days), they will remain closed until Sunday, with work resuming on Monday. The official start of Eid Al Fitr is subject to the moon sighting.

The holiday for public sector employees was announced by the authority on Sunday. Government ministries and departments will be closed from Thursday, resuming work on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on when Eid is called.

The ministry conveyed greetings to the President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the rulers of the Emirates.

Eid Al Fitr marks one of two holy feasts celebrated by Muslims worldwide. The first day of Eid Al Fitr — which translates in Arabic to the feast of breaking the fast — coincides with the first day of the lunar calendar month of Shawwal.

Celebrations begin with Eid prayers at fajr — or dawn. The prayers are always performed in a group and involve particular rituals and a sermon unique to other prayers practised by Muslims.

Muslims are advised to follow the tradition of Prophet Mohammed and bathe before Eid prayers, wearing perfume and new clothes. Muslims see the prayers as a chance to exchange Eid greetings and meet neighbours, family and friends.

Muslims then celebrate Eid Al Fitr for three days by visiting families and loved ones. More recently, it has also become common practice to use the Eid holiday to travel or carry out extra-curricular activities.

Originally published on The National on 12.06.18

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