With reporting from Lesley Walker
Because the new moon was not sighted last night, Eid Al-Adha (the festival of the sacrifice) will fall on Thursday, Sept. 24.
The first day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah will be tonight after sunset, and Eid always falls on the 10th day of that month.
Eid coincides with Hajj, a pilgrimage that millions of Muslims make to holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
That includes to Makkah, home of the Grand Mosque, where a falling crane killed more than 100 people over the weekend. As Saudi Arabia investigates the accident, authorities said Hajj will continue as planned.
Eid comes just after the descent of pilgrims from Mount Arafat, a hill east of Makkah on which the Prophet Muhammad gave his final sermon.
During Eid Al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice an animal (usually a sheep, goat, cow, or camel) as something of an offering to God as the Prophet Abraham once did.
The meat is then distributed among themselves, family and friends.
Qatar has yet to announce the official holiday dates, but will likely have the same starting day for Eid as Saudi Arabia.
QNA reported yesterday that government employees will receive an advance on their salary on Sept. 20 ahead of Eid.
Meanwhile, the nation’s sole liquor store Qatar Distribution Company will for the first time be closed for the two weeks up to and during Eid.
QDC was shut from yesterday, Sept. 13 and will reopen on Sept. 26, according to a recording on the warehouse’s answering machine.
The move comes after hotels in Qatar were also instructed by the government to cease selling alcohol in the nine days prior to Eid and on the first day of the celebration itself.
Even for observant Muslims who are not performing Hajj, the first 10 days of this month are believed to blessed days to undertake good deeds.
When Eid itself begins, the Qatar Tourism Authority said it will hold a five-day festival that includes entertainment and cultural shows and events at Katara Cultural Village, Souq Waqif and the malls.
New this year will be a Frozen sing-a-long and a performance from an Arabs Got Talent star, QTA said in a statement today, adding:
“Through the Eid Al Adha Festival theme, ‘Capture Joy,’ QTA will also be launching a campaign inviting visitors and residents to capture the joyful memories associated with Eid and share their experiences of Eid in Qatar through images and words on various online platforms.”
Stay tuned for official government, bank and school holiday dates.