As the Sultanate gears up to welcome the Islamic New Year, the Government has announced that all employees of ministries, public authorities and government institutions will receive a day off on the blessed occasion of the first day of Muharram.
The date for the first day of Muharram has yet to be confirmed by the authorities. However, the day will be marked upon the sighting of the Muharram moon and could be either Sunday or Monday. This decision comes after a statement by HE Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidi, Minister of the Royal Diwan.
The New Year primarily marks the arrival of the Prophet Mohammed in Medina after he immigrated from Mecca, an occasion that led to the establishment of the first Muslim community.
The occasion – the first day of the New Year, or Al Hijri – does not involve public celebrations or traditional events, and is customarily a day dedicated to faith and fasting, during which Muslims honour the beginning of Islam and reflect on the passage of time.