Eid Al Fitr 2023 may fall on Saturday, says Saudi's International Astronomy Centre

Government has announced that public holidays will officially begin on Friday

A member of the moon sighting committee looks through a telescope to view the moon ahead of Ramadan to mark the beginning of the holy fasting month, near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Saudi Arabia's International Astronomy Centre on Sunday predicted that Eid Al Fitr should fall on Saturday, April 22 ― a day later than previously expected.

Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court has urged people throughout the kingdom to report sightings of the crescent from Thursday.

Following that announcement, the centre posted on its Twitter account that it is “a scientific centre that provides astronomical information”, not an entity that publishes official announcements.

It said that multiple moon-sighting criteria are adopted for determining the beginning of the month.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced on Monday that public holidays for Eid Al Fitr would officially begin on Friday, April 21, which is already a weekend.

They said that private and non-profit sectors would have four days of holiday on top of the weekend after the end of work on Thursday. Work is expected to resume on Thursday, April 29, while schools reopen on 30 April.

Muslims traditionally go to the mosque to perform early morning Eid prayers but those who wish to stay on after can perform the Friday prayer then, the ministry said.

In the UAE, there is a public holiday set for Thursday, April 20.

The UAE’s moon sighting committee will announce the exact starting date for Eid.

If the duration of Ramadan is decided at 30 days, workers will return to work on Tuesday, April 25, while if it is 29 days, the Eid holiday will last just four days, with workplaces reopening on Monday.

Updated: April 18, 2023, 5:08 AM