Eid al Fitr will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 6, in Saudi Arabia, UAE and some other countries as the crescent moon was not spotted on Monday, July 4. As a result, the last day of fasting will be on Tuesday and Wednesday will be the first day of Shawwal.
The Saudi Supreme Court has reportedly announced that 30 days of Ramadan would be observed this year. "So, it has been decided that tomorrow, Tuesday will be the 30th day of Ramadan 1437 H. corresponding to July 5, 2016 and that Wednesday will be the first day of Shawal 1437 H. corresponding to July 6, 2016, itself the first day of blessed Eid Al-Fitr, a three-day celebration following the end of the blessed month of Ramadan," the Ummid website quoted the Royal Court as declaring in a press release.
Mohammad Odeh from the International Astronomical Center, Abu Dhabi had predicted earlier that the crescent moon was unlikely to be spotted on Monday evening as the moon had set prior to the sunset.
The Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia has asked Muslims in the country to look for the crescent moon on Monday, July 4, which, if sighted, will mean that Eid al Fitr will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 5. The end of Ramadan, as also its beginning, is signalled by the sighting of the moon, which varies across countries.
"Whoever sights the crescent to report to the nearest court and register his testimony or report to the authority of the region's center in his area," Alarabiya website said, citing the Saudi Press Agency's report on the announcement made by the Supreme Court. However, as per the International Astronomical Center, people from North America, North Africa and the whole Middle East and Asia are unlikely to sight the crescent of the month of Shawwal with naked eyes on Monday evening.
"It is impossible to see the crescent from the areas located under the red color. Because either the Moon on this day sets before the Sunset and/or the topocentric conjunction occurs after the Sunset," Moroccoworldnews quoted the International Astronomical Center as claiming on its website. However, it can be seen with naked eyes in some Latin American countries.
In India, where the festival is commonly known as Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims celebrate it a day after it is marked in Saudi Arabia, and Indian Muslims are likely to celebrate Eid on Wednesday. Muslims in many nations, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, usually follow announcements of moon-sighting in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the Australian National Crescent Sighting Coordination Centre has announced that the Shawwal moon sighting in the country will be conducted on Monday, July 4, 2016.
Eid al-Fitr, which means the 'festival of breaking the fast,' will mark the end of the strict fasting observed by Muslims across the world over the last month, during which they abstained from eating or drinking between dawn and dusk.
On Eid al-fitr, or Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims wake up before sunrise, usually eat dates for breakfast, and then visit mosques for special prayers.
The dates of Ramadan change each year, and so does the date of Eid al-Fitr. This year, it started on June 6 and will end on July 6 if no visual sighting is possible due to weather conditions.