Islamic New Year

My Fabled Land of Arabia will celebrate the coming of year 1436 H tomorrow, Saturday, October 25.

The Islamic calendar (Hijra) is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days, and the Islamic New Year comes with the beginning of the first month, Muharram. As the calendar is based on the moon phases, the date of New Year varies each year and is determined after moon observation by special committees. It commemorates the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, known as the Hijra. This date marks the beginnings of Islam and the Muslim era.

According to Islam, the new day always starts at sundown. This means that liquor stores, restaurants and bars are not allowed to sell or serve alcohol starting from sundown the day before an Islamic holiday, until after sundown the following day. Not a big deal, but good to know.

If you’re a shopping enthusiast, don’t worry. Most shops are open for business as usual.

Happy New Year!

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In February 2016 I moved back to my native Norway after 13 years in Dubai, preceeded by two years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Before becoming a full time expat in 2001, I had a carrer as a travel consultant in Norway. My expat portfolio also includes six of my teenage years in Bahrain many moons ago and two years in Southport, Connecticut, USA.

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