According to the International Astronomy Centre, Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on Saturday, April 22, 2023 (1444 AH), which is one day later than the previous prediction. The Islamic community will search for the crescent of Shawwal on Thursday, April 20, 2023, but the centre has predicted that it will not be visible to the naked eye from any location in the Arab and Islamic world.
The centre has stated that although it may be possible to see the crescent with a telescope in some parts of West Africa starting from Libya, it still requires professional monitoring, exceptional weather conditions, and precise equipment. Therefore, the centre does not expect the crescent to be seen, even with a telescope, from anywhere in the Arab world, unless the aforementioned circumstances are met. As the sighting of the crescent is necessary for the start of the month, Eid Al Fitr is now anticipated to occur on Saturday, April 22.
The International Astronomy Centre has urged people to report any sightings of the crescent from Thursday, and countries that require correct sighting with the naked eye or correct local vision with a telescope are expected to continue fasting to complete 30 days. For them, Eid Al Fitr will be on Saturday.
The UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced the official holiday for Eid Al Fitr. If the moon is not spotted on Thursday, April 20, and April 22 becomes the start of Eid, UAE residents will enjoy a five-day weekend. The UAE’s moon sighting committee will meet to investigate the sighting and declare the exact Eid date.
The UAE’s moon-sighting committee will meet on Thursday, April 20, to determine whether Eid is on Friday, April 21; or Saturday, April 22. If Eid is on Friday, residents will get a four-day break from Thursday till Sunday. If on Saturday, the break will be for five days —Thursday to Monday.
Islamic months last for 29 or 30 days, depending on when the Moon is sighted. Multiple astronomical centres had earlier said that their calculations suggest the holy month of Ramadan will last for 29 days this year. The likely day of Eid, therefore, is Friday, according to astronomical calculations.
Officially, Eid holidays are from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3 for Emiratis and expatriates working in government departments and private companies. Irrespective of when the Moon is spotted, the holiday begins on Thursday, April 20 (Ramadan 29).