Holidays – caught on the hop… again

4 moons, which one is the hajj Eid moon?

The government calendar says that the Hajj Eid Festival is on Wednesday 10th December. We understand Hajj Eid is celebrated five days after the start of Hajj, so why, when four days after the start, we find that all government offices and many shops are closed today, Tuesday 9th?

We were offered one explanation and so far the only explanation as to why this happens.

The reason. The Head Imam will decide the day for the holiday by studying the state of the moon and will only announce the holiday at 5.00pm the preceding day. So of course, if he decides that he got it wrong when he told the government when they were preparing the calendar, a lot of people who aren’t Muslims will not know. Makes planning difficult. Only one out of six patients turned up today!

This explanation doesn’t quite work for us because we believe that the phase of the moon is predictable and has been so for hundreds (if not thousands of yeatrs) and anyway in this computer age, surely accuracy can be guaranteed. If anybody out there knows the real reason please leave a comment. Enlightenment will be sweet!

What a tolerant lot the Indians are if they can put up with variable ‘national’ holiday shut downs on account of the vagaries the imams who represent Islam, which is a religion followed by a small percentage of the Indian populace.


Confused of Margao


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