We’re coming up to Eid al-Fitr, which will fall on one of several days.

Why? Let me explain.

Why don’t we know what date Eid will be?

The Islamic calendar (the Hijri calendar) consists of 12 lunar months, and each month is either 29 or 30 days.

Each month starts with the sighting of the new crescent moon. If the moon isn’t sighted on the 29th, it becomes a 30-day month.

While we can predict when the moon will appear, we can’t know for sure until the day, if it’ll be possible to see it.

What do Saudi Arabia have to do with Eid?

In the UK, there is no official organisation which announces the new Islamic month, so there are several schools of thought.

Some follow the Saudi Arabian dates for Islamic months, others follow Morocco as it’s the UK’s closest Muslim neighbour, while others follow local UK sightings from organisations like The New Crescent Society.

This year, Eid al-Fitr could be celebrated on the 9th of April, the 10th of April, or the 11th of April – or it may well be celebrated on all three dates by different people.

The Islamic day starts at sunset, so as soon as the new crescent moon is sighted, Eid begins that evening, and continues to the next day.

Why can’t my employee just book all the possible dates off?

Inclusion is all about giving people the choice to act in line with their faith/values/way of life.

We have a limited number of holidays each year, and for many Muslims in the UK they already have to take several days off in line with holidays they don’t celebrate (such as Easter or Christmas).

While some colleagues might choose to book several days off, to cover every eventuality, to force them to reduce their holiday allowance like this is not equitable.

Foster an inclusive workplace culture by offering Muslim colleagues the flexibility to take Eid off last-minute, whichever day it falls on.

Equally, be understanding if your colleague decides not to book the day off.

How do I acknowledge Eid?

You can say “Eid Mubarak” to Muslim friends, which is to wish them a “blessed festival”.


When you understand it’s not complicatEid at all really!

Any thoughts or questions? Drop them in a comment below.

Eid Mubarak 🌙

Eid Mubarak with lanterns
Christopher Roberts

Christopher Roberts

As a change leader, my goal is to improve people's lives through projects and transformation. I'm enthusiastic about AI, inclusion and diversity, and looking after our world. I'm an advocate for responsible innovation and critical thinking, and you can find my writing on that and everything tech over on Technology Bloggers.
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