Eid al-Fitr moon sighting: Saudi Arabia forecast, and when will the 2022 crescent moon be visible in the UK?

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Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar.

It starts the day after the observation of the crescent moon, which usually occurs one night after the new moon.

But when exactly is that in 2022?

Here is everything you need to know.

What is Eid al-Fitr?

According to legend, when the Prophet Muhammad arrived in Medina after moving from Mecca, he noticed the residents celebrating two special days.

These two days were the foundation for Islam's two Eids: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The name Eid al-Fitr derives from an Arabic term that means “feast of breaking the fast,” and while it is not normally a public holiday in the UK, it is in many Muslim nations.

Festivities begin with dawn prayers, which are usually held at a mosque. Eid has its own unique prayer, which is intended to be recited in a group.

Muslims traditionally assemble in a park to break their fast and celebrate with large-scale events, festival food (especially sweet desserts), prayer, and booths.

Many individuals dress up in their nicest attire, and women may use henna on their hands to commemorate the occasion.

Muslims celebrate Eid in a variety of ways around the world, though most of them revolve around food.

When is Eid al-Fitr?

In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr always falls on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.

In the Gregorian calendar, this day goes forward every year by 10-11 days, as the start of any Islamic month begins on the new crescent moon when sighted by religious authorities.

Since the date of Eid al-Fitr is determined by the moon's sighting, it can't be predicted with 100% certainty.

This means that it may potentially fall today Sunday (1 May) or Monday.

While it can be predicted with certainty when a new moon will be visible from Earth, whether followers of Islam will get an actual “sighting” of it is another story which could be hampered by factors such as weather conditions.

There is substantial debate about whether a moon sighting should apply to you physically seeing the moon in your area, or to sightings in Saudi Arabia or other countries.

However, according to the Saudi Arabian Umm al-Qura Calendar's projection, Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated on Monday 2 May 2022.

That means, this year's Ramadan will last 30 days - though it can sometimes last 2 - and this is also the date of the Spring Bank Holiday in the UK, which means many people will be able to take a day off work to celebrate Eid.

How to wish someone a Happy Eid

“Eid Mubarak”, an Arabic phrase meaning "blessed feast/festival," is the most common way used to wish someone a Happy Eid.

Although Eid Mubarak is well-known, it is not used everywhere.

“Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun” (May your Eid be blessed) or “iyi Bayramlar” (Good Eid days) are two Turkish phrases that are used, and people in Nigeria greet one another by saying "Barka Da Sallah," which means "Blessed Eid Prayers."

"Feliz Eid" is used in Spanish-speaking nations, whereas "Selamat Hari Raya" is used in Malay-speaking countries.

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