Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting date in Saudi Arabia, India: When is chand raat, Eid in Saudi, UAE, India, Pakistan, US - Hindustan Times
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Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting date in Saudi Arabia, India: When is chand raat, Eid in Saudi, UAE, India, Pakistan, US

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Apr 08, 2024 04:54 PM IST

Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting date: Know when is chand raat and Ramadan Eid in Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, Pakistan, US, UK and other countries this year

For a whole month, Muslims across the world have been juggling professional and personal chores in the day while seeking forgiveness both from Allah and from those we may have wronged in the quiet of Ramadan with night prayers, breaking bad habits and mending broken relationships as it is not just a month of fasting from dawn to dusk and abstaining from food and drink but also about nourishing the soul with prayer, reflection, charity, universal brotherhood and acts of kindness with Eid-ul-Fitr crowning this journey of transformation. As Ramadan 2024 wraps up, Muslims are gearing to spot the Shawwal crescent moon which will mark the date of Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 and the start of a new month in the Islamic lunar calendar and this year, Ramadan is expected to get over with a treat for sky gazers and celestial body lovers since the new moon occurring on April 08 will be seen with a total solar eclipse in specific locations on Earth.

Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting date in Saudi Arabia, India: When is chand raat, Eid in Saudi, UAE, India, Pakistan, US (Photo by Creative Market)
Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting date in Saudi Arabia, India: When is chand raat, Eid in Saudi, UAE, India, Pakistan, US (Photo by Creative Market)

Eid al-Fitr, which is popularly known as Eid or Ramadan Eid, marks the end of the sacred month of Ramadan where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and recite the Holy Quran and offers prayers to Allah. While the West culturally follows the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic calendar is lunar which means it is based on the sighting of the crescent moon hence, every year, Eid-ul-Fitr occurs approximately 10-11 days earlier depending on when the crescent moon is sighted because lunar months are shorter than solar months and so it varies from country to country by about a day.

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Chand Raat is a term used in South Asian cultures, particularly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, to refer to the night before Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid al-Adha where "chand" means moon and "raat" means night in Urdu, so the term refers to the night when the Muslims sight the crescent or new moon, signaling the end of the month of Ramadan or the month of Zul-Hijjah. It is a festive night where people go out shopping for new clothes, bangles and other items to wear on the day of Eid as the markets are usually bustling with activity and people celebrate by eating sweets, exchanging gifts and greeting each other with Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid) as this important cultural event marks the end of a period of fasting and is a time of celebration with loved ones.

The festive night of chand raat is followed by Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in the morning, which is a major religious holiday celebrated by Muslims all over the world as it marks the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan, during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset hence, Eid-ul-Fitr is also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” The ninth month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar is Ramadan and the tenth is Shawwal whose first day is marked as Eid-ul-Fitr across the world.

Since the Middle East, USA, UK, Canada etc started fasting on March 11, 2024, the Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia has called on all Muslims throughout the Kingdom to sight the new crescent moon on the evening of Monday, Ramadan 29, 1445 Hijri, corresponding to April 8, 2024, that will mark the end of Ramadan and the onset of the month of Shawwal. If the Shawwal crescent moon is sighted by Muslims in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, United Kingdom and other countries in the Middle East and West on April 8 evening, after breaking the Ramadan fast at maghrib or evening payers, chand raat there will be on Monday, April 8 and the day of Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated the next day i.e. on April 09, 2024 but if the Shawwal crescent is not sighted on Monday evening, chand raat in these countries will be on Tuesday, April 09 while Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, indicating that Muslims may observe a 30-day fast this Ramadan instead of 29 days.

The buzz of chand raat is in the air as this is the time of celebration when families and friends gather on the terrace of their homes or courtyards or parks or any open places at the end of the last day of Ramadan to spot the crescent moon and Indian Muslims along with those in other South Asian countries will gear up to sight the crescent moon on Tuesday i.e. April 09, 2024, after breaking the Ramadan fast at maghrib or evening payers and if the Shawwal crescent moon is sighted, chand raat will be on Tuesday night, which will mark the onset of the Islamic month of Shawwal and the day of Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated the next day i.e. Wednesday April 10, 2023. Otherwise, Muslims in India and other South Asian countries will continue to fast on Wednesday and Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Thursday i.e. April 11, 2023.

However, Pakistan’s Meteorological Department has said that the Shawwal moon is likely to be seen on April 9, 2024 in the region where the moon is expected to conjunct with the sun on April 8 at 11:21pm (local time). The media reports stated, “The Met Office forecast that in the southern regions of the country the sky will likely be clear, while the sky could be cloudy in the northern regions.” The possibility of 29-day Ramadan based on scientific findings in Pakistan is also backed by the country's Ruet-e-Hilal Committee chairman.

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