Eid Al Fitr is drawing closer, with Muslims across the world preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Traditionally, Eid begins the day after the sighting of the Shawwal Moon, but when exactly will it appear? This is when you should expect the crescent of the Moon to be sighted this weekend.
What is Eid Al Fitr?
The ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar is Ramadan and the 10th is Shawwal – the first three days of which are marked as the festival of Eid Al Fitr.
Shawwal means ‘festival of breaking of the fast’ and is used to commemorate the end of the daylight fasting period which is observed by many Muslims throughout Ramadan.
This significant festival is determined by the official sighting of the crescent of the Moon, but when exactly will it take place in Saudi Arabia?
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When is the Moon sighting in Saudi Arabia?
Muslims around the world are awaiting the news of the crescent Moon sighting which will mark the end of Ramadan.
It is expected that the Moon will be sighted over the weekend, which means that Eid Al Fitr will begin on either Sunday May 1 or Monday May 2.
In some countries, it could even begin one day later, on Monday May 3.
As the Muslim community build anticipation for the lunar event, the big question is, will Eid begin tomorrow?
According to the current forecasts for Makkah – the “holiest” city in Saudi Arabia, the Moon will not be visible under any circumstances on the evening of Saturday, April 30.
This indicates that Ramadan is likely to continue for one more day.
Based on this forecast, Ramadan is likely to end on Sunday, May 1, while Eid Al Fitr will begin one day later, on Monday, May 2.
What time could the Moon be sighted in Saudi Arabia?
Astronomical charts show that the moon is likely to be partially visible on Sunday, though it will be easier to spot on Monday.
The current sunset and moonset times for Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Makkah are:
- Saturday, April 30 – sunset at 6.45pm, moonset at 6.30pm
- Sunday, May 1 – sunset at 6.46pm, moonset at 7.24pm
- Monday, May 2 – sunset at 6.46pm, moonset at 8.18pm
British Summer Time is two hours behind Saudi Arabia local time, so the Moon sighting will be confirmed shortly before it is visible in the UK.
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Has the Moon been spotted elsewhere in the world yet?
Latest reports state that Eid Al Fitr will begin tomorrow, on Sunday, May 1 in Australia and Singapore.
This follows the sighting of the Shawwal crescent Moon in both countries earlier today.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries are still gearing up to sight the Shawwal crescent moon.
British Muslims who look for the moon here or follow local moonsighting reports are likely to continue Ramadan into Sunday and celebrate Eid on Monday.