WATCH: Everything you need to know about Eid Al-Fitr 2020 in Qatar

WATCH: Everything you need to know about Eid Al-Fitr 2020 in Qatar

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

The blessed occasion of Eid Al-Fitr is almost upon us. Today will be the last day of Ramadan 2020, as confirmed by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) yesterday. 

This year, the country will experience a unique celebration as authorities have urged citizens and residents to stay home and protect themselves and the wider community from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Although there will be no community events and gatherings, no Eid-related travels, and no Eid prayers in mosques, those celebrating can make the most of the unique time with their loved ones at home.

What is Eid Al-Fitr?

Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan - a month Muslims across the globe have spent fasting, engaging in acts of worship, and increased spiritual devotion. 

A direct translation of "Eid Al-Fitr" is "The Festival of Breaking the Fast." The festival is traditionally observed over a period of three days and is celebrated with great fervor in Muslim communities across the world.

Crescent Sighting

The first day of Eid Al-Fitr in Qatar is identified and announced by the Crescent Sighting Committee at Awqaf.

The Committee gathers immediately after sunset (Maghreb) prayer to look for the crescent moon of Shawwal (the 10th month in the Islamic [lunar] calendar).

Depending on the sighting, the Committee announces the official start date of Eid in Qatar.

Awqaf also calls upon on all Muslims in Qatar to be on the look for the crescent moon of Shawwal and report their testimony to the Committee's headquarters in Al Dafna.

This year, the Committee gathered to sight the moon on Friday, May 22, 2020.

The Committee confirmed the moon was not sighted on Friday evening. Hence, May 23, 2020 will be the last day of the holy month (30th of Ramadan). Qatar will celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

Eid Holidays

Qatar has announced that government employees will receive a 9-day holiday on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr this year. 

According to the Amiri Diwan, the Eid Al-Fitr holidays for ministries, government agencies, and other public bodies and institutions will commence on Tuesday, May 19, 2020,  and continue until Thursday, May 28, 2020. Employees will resume work on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Holidays for banks, currency exchanges, insurance companies, finance, investment, and financial consultants will begin on Sunday May 24, 2020, and will end on Thursday May 28, 2020, according to Qatar Central Bank (QCB).

All financial institutions return to work on Sunday, May 31 of the current year. The bank said in a circular that all financial institutions operating in the state must fully close all its branches during the holiday period.

For the private sector, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs (ADLSA) confirmed that all businesses subject to the Labor Law must grant their employees a full-paid holiday for three working days for Eid Al-Fitr.

Qatar Living office will be closed from Sunday, May 24, 2020 until May 26, 2020.

Eid Prayers

Awqaf confirmed that the decision regarding closure of mosques and the temporary suspension of congregational prayers as part of the precautionary and preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 will continue. The decision remains in effect and applies to Eid Al-Fitr for the year 1441 AH.

All those who mark the blessed occasion of Eid are encouraged to pray at home.

Eid prayers are usually performed 15 minutes after sunrise.

Eid offers by hotels in Qatar

While the authorities have urged the public to adhere to the safety precautions and stay home as much as possible during the Eid holidays, there is still a lot on offer for those celebrating the blessed occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.

Here's a list of all the offerings various hotels in Doha have thoughtfully crafted for the festive season. There are several options to choose from including, ordering scrumptious meals and delectable desserts to feast on within the comfort of your home.

Activities to do at home

Despite not being able to meet relatives, friends, and colleagues over the Eid holidays, there are some activities that you can engage in within your homes. Below are a few suggestions that you might want to consider:

- Make a sweet treat for the family - Sweets and confectionaries have remained a prominent part of Eid Al-Fitr celebrations. There are certain sweet dishes that are made mainly on the special occasion of Eid and shared amongst family and friends. This Eid Al-Fitr, while you may not have visitors coming in, you can still experience the joy of these special treats with your family. Get working on the dishes together and enjoy them. If you happen to be alone, try making the deserts and hold a virtual eid gathering with your family abroad.

- Decorate your home - our surroundings can have a major impact on the way we feel. In these difficult times, when you are unable to step out and visit and hug your loved ones on this special occasion of Eid, it is important to cheer yourselves up in different ways. Let your creativity flow with some Eid decorations around the house. You may find several online tutorials to help out. Once done, don't forget to take photos or video call your relatives and loved ones.

- Virtually connect with your relatives and friends - While the authorities urge that people stay home this Eid to protect themselves against COVID-19, remember this is for everyone's good. Look for an alternative way to still be with your friends and relatives this Eid. Wear your best clothes and hold a virtual get together. Exchange Eid greetings online and just spend the time to revisit good memories. This will be a historic Eid celebration, so make the most of it.

Online Activities 

While there may be no Eid Al-Fitr events happening outdoors this year, there are certainly some exciting online activities that you can join to feel the spirit of the celebration. Gather your family members and take part in the online events that will allow you to virtually connect with the community.

Eid At Home Party by Red Apple

Red Apple has partnered with Qatar Living and will be keeping you entertained with a series of non-stop events every evening from 6pm onwards. They are ensuring it will be an interactive session with loads of give aways for the audience. People can tune in with families and friends from around the world.

The entertainment is a mix of all genres ranging from Ghazals to Live DJ Sets, talk shows to celebrity interviews, Kids Live Music to Teenage Rock festivals and so much more. They have something for everyone and it will be streamed on our youtube channel redapple tv and the talk shows will be on Instagram.

The organizers have identified the best of local talents who are finalists of Red Apple's ongoing online music and dance reality shows. Click here for more details.

Virtual Fireworks - Katara Cultural Village

Katara Cultural Village has been one of the favorite places to visit on Eid for many families and children over the years. Among an array of yearly Eid activities, Katara's fascinating fireworks on Eid have been a major attraction to many. 

This year, as the public is being asked to stay home to keep safe and healthy, Katara has announced that it will take this excitement online. On its social media pages, Katara announced that it will organize virtual fireworks for everyone to witness and enjoy from the comfort of their homes. 

This will be broadcasted on Katara platforms on Sunday, May 24 at 8 pm. For more info, click here

Keep watching this space for more announcements about online activities and events this Eid.

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