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UAE astronomy center says Eid al-Fitr to fall on May 2 in most countries

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The UAE’s International Astronomical Center confirmed that Eid al-Fitr will fall on May 2 in most countries where the holy month of Ramadan started on April 2, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.

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Engineer Mohammed Shawkat Odeh, the center’s director, explained that sighting the crescent moon on April 30 “will be impossible because the moon will set before the sun.”

Therefore, countries which marked the beginning of Ramadan on April 2 will conclude Ramadan on May 1 and mark Eid al-Fitr on May 2, Odeh explained.

Countries that marked the beginning of the holy month on April 3, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, India, Oman, Jordan and Morocco, will sight the crescent moon on May 1 – which would mark the 29th of Ramadan for them – to determine when the first day of Eid al-Fitr is.

Odeh noted, however, that sighting the crescent moon on May 1 “is not possible at all in Australia and surrounding areas,” adding that it’s possible to sight it via a telescope only in central and western Asia, most of Europe and south of Africa.

“Most countries that will try to sight the crescent moon on May 1 will most likely announce that May 2 is the first day of Eid al-Fitr,” Odeh said, adding that it’s expected for India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to announce May 3 as the first day of Eid.

Eid al-Fitr celebrations follow the end of the holy month of Ramadan which lasts 29 or 30 days based on when the crescent moon is sighted.

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