Muscat – Following announcement of the Eid al Fitr holiday, Oman is abuzz with excitement about the nineday break. However, it is still not clear which day Eid will fall on.
Abdulwahab al Busaidi, head of observatory at Oman Astronomical Society, informed Muscat Daily that Eid al Fitr, in all likelihood, will fall on Monday, May 2 because there would be ample time to see the crescent moon on Sunday evening.
“In order to see the crescent moon, there are some conditions. The moon has to be in the sky for at least 12 to 15 hours. This time we are having 18 hours, which is sufficient time to see it. The second is luminosity, which will be a little low but we should be able to see the moon through the telescope. And the third is called time horizon, which means that the moon will be on the horizon for 36 minutes,” he
Busaidi added that this implies there will be ample time to see the moon on the 29th day of Ramadan,
which will be Sunday, May 1. “Hence Monday, May 2 will be Eid al Fitr. This will be the case with many other countries including our GCC neighbours,” he said.
Oman now gives the same number of holidays to both government and private sectors and employees say the move is good specially for long breaks like Eid holidays. “Most of my family members work in the private sector and I am happy now that whenever we get holidays, they also get the same number of
days. This helps us plan get togethers during holidays like Eid,” Suleyyem Khalaf, a government employee, said.
Hamdoon al Farsi, a private sector employee said, “We are happy that this Eid we‘ll be getting a nine-day break. I can now plan my break properly because I am thinking of travelling to Dubai with my family.”
A long Eid break is seen to benefit the local tourism industry, especially Salalah, as many will want to spend such a long break there. “Families across Oman are looking forward to celebrate Eid and many of them would use the long holidays to go to Salalah to enjoy good weather. Many cannot afford international travel.
Salalah is always a good option,” a travel consultant said on condition of anonymity. As Ramadan draws to a close next week with the beginning of Eid al Fitr, people observing the end of the Islamic holy month are being reminded they must avoid gatherings, group celebrations and practise social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday evening, the Supreme Committee announced that a ban on organising social events in public places, including Eid greeting gatherings and group celebrations, continues. It also informed that a ban on celebration of marriages and funerals gatherings in mosques, halls and other public places, continues.
It urged all to comply with the decisions and never neglect COVID-19 precautionary measures.