JEDDAH: Eid Al-Fitr celebrations will begin in Saudi Arabia on Friday, June 15, the Saudi Supreme Court has announced.
The court earlier this week asked Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the new moon on Thursday; in the event, the Shawwal crescent was easy to spot and witnessed by many.
Several other countries also announced that Eid would start today, including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia.
Astronomer Khalid Al-Zaaq, a member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, wrote on Twitter: “Eid begins Friday astronomically.” He added: “The astronomical calculations suggest that Friday, June 15 is first day of Eid Al-Fitr.”
Earlier this month, Al-Zaaq correctly predicted that Ramadan 2018 would be a 29-day month, with June 15 marking the first day of Eid.
As Eid Al-Fitr coincides with the start of the FIFA World Cup, the Saudi General Sports Authority and the General Entertainment Authority have organized sports and entertainment events and activities for soccer fans who could not make it to Russia.
King Salman had earlier issued a directive giving government employees and military staff around a full working week off to mark the holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Government offices affected employees covered by the holiday will resume work on June 24.
King Salman has also ordered a 1.7 billion riyal ($453 million) payout to beneficiaries of social security in the Kingdom ahead of Eid.
The bonus is meant to help people meet their needs during the Eid holiday.