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Festivals are a way of life to celebrate our culture, glorify their religious origins, and rejoice in the traditions. While some are celebrated with great zeal and merriment in memory of the splendorous past, others are meant for reflections and remembrance of the grim bygone days.
The Islamic New Year or the Hijri or Arabic New Year is one such commemoration that falls in the latter category. It is the start of the Hijri year with the month of Muharram according to the Islamic Lunar calendar. The epoch of the Islamic era is marked by the year of the flight – Hijra or Hegira, dated as 622 CE (Common Era). It is when Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, migrated from Mecca to Medina with his disciples to evade a conspired prosecution.
Muharram is one of the four holy months of the Islamic calendar (Rajab, Dhul-Qa’dah, and Dhu’l-Hijjah are the others), standing as the second most venerated month to Ramadan. The tenth day of this first month in the Islamic calendar is the Day of Ashura or the mourning day. Followers of Islam fast, offer prayers, and pledge not to fight during this time of the year as hostility is forbidden.
How is the Islamic New Year date decided?
A year in the Hijri or Islamic calendar involves 12 months and spans over nearly 354 days. So, when compared with the Gregorian calendar that follows the revolution of the Earth around the Sun, the Islamic Year falls short by 10 – 11 days. Naturally, the date for the Hijri New Year shifts from year to year and doesn’t sync with the Gregorian calendar.
The sunset ushers in a new day and hence a new year. Most Islamic institutes herald the first sighting of the crescent of the new moon as the start of the new year. Exceptions to this practice include several Islamic organizations and countries such as Saudi Arabia who rely on astronomical calculations to determine the date from beforehand. Accordingly, there are differences in the Hijri new year dates from one place to another.
Date of Hijri New Year 2020
The Hijri New Year 2020 is in fact 1442nd Islamic year. For UAE, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) has announced on August 13 that Muharram Day 1 will be on Sunday, August 23. The Hijri New Year day, therefore, will remain a public holiday for all government and private sector staff.
FAHR: It has been decided that the Hijri New Year holiday for the year 1442 in the Federal Government of the United Arab Emirates will be on Sunday, 23rd of August 2020, and regular working hours will resume on Monday, 24th of August 2020. pic.twitter.com/6ISWMyEj26
— FAHR (@FAHR_UAE) August 13, 2020
For Muslims in other countries which observe the Hijri New Year or Awal Muharram, the new year will commence on August 19 – 20 of the Gregorian calendar. This is subject to lunar sightings on the day.
How is The Islamic New Year date decided?
Most Islamic institutes herald the first sighting of the crescent of the new moon as the start of the new year. Find out about the full details on Wego Travel Blog.
What is Hijri New Year?
It is the start of the Hijri year with the month of Muharram according to the Islamic Lunar calendar. Learn more about the details on Wego Travel Blog.
What is the date of Hijri New Year in 2020?
In UAE, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) has announced on August 13 that Muharram Day 1 will be on Sunday, August 23. Read more about the details on Wego Travel Blog.