The crescent for the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar Zul Hijjah was sighted on Thursday evening by an observatory in Saudi Arabia and various bodies, making Friday – August 2, the first day of Zul Hijjah.
Accordingly, the Day of Arafat, which is the day of Haj that falls a day before Eid Al Adha is on Aug 10, Saturday.
As per previous announcements by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, the Day of Arafat and the three days that follow, August 11 to 13, will be an official holiday for both private and public sector employees.
Eid Al Adha, or the ‘festival of sacrifice’, marks the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son out of faith to Allah.
To commemorate the ultimate show of obedience, the prescribed animal (usually goat or sheep) is sacrificed by Muslims and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.
The festival is celebrated by 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe.