The date of Eid is traditionally dependent on the sighting of the moon. Based on the lunar calendar, Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid al-Fitr commences with the sighting of the new crescent moon which brings an end to the month of Ramadan.
The holy month of Ramadan or Ramzan is marked by fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. The festivities occur in the ninth month of Islamic calendar and the ceremony is considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam.
Depending on when the moon is sighted, Eid celebrations will begin either in the evening of 23 May (Saturday), or 24 May (Sunday) in 2020.
Moon sighting in India
In India, all eyes will be on the night sky on 23 May. If the moon is spotted on Saturday, Eid al-Fitr 2020 will be on 24 May (Sunday). If not, Ramzan Eid will be observed on 25 May (Monday).
Moon sighting in Saudi Arabia
In Saudi Arabia, the Supreme Court has asked Muslims throughout the country to report the sighting of the crescent moon. According to a report in The Hindustan Times, the court has said, “Whoever sights the moon with naked eyes or through binoculars, report to the nearest court and register testimony, or report to an authority of a region’s centre in the area.”
The report adds that astronomers at the observatory of Majmaah University near Riyadh confirmed on Thursday that the crescent moon is unlikely to be sighted on Friday (22 May).
Astronomers from Abu Dhabi’s International Astronomical Centre said Eid ul-Fitr would most likely fall on 24 May as spotting the new moon would be impossible due to the setting of the moon before the sun.