Eid ul Adha 2024 UK, Saudi Arabia and Morocco moonsighting forecasts announced

Eid ul Adha prayers during the religious celebrations in Small Heath Park in Birmingham
-Credit: (Image: Martin O'Callaghan)


Eid ul Adha 2024 UK, Saudi Arabia and Morocco moonsighting forecasts have been announced as we head towards the start of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. This second major Eid of the year - translating as Festival of the Sacrifice - is on the 10th day of the month, unlike the earlier Eid ul Fitr.

The first day of Dhul Hijjah will be declared after attempts to sight the new crescent moon on the 29th day of the current month, Dhul Qadah. With variations between countries and communities on when the 29th day will fall and whether the moon has been seen, there will be differences in the dates of Dhul Hijjah and Eid ul Adha, as there were previously for Shawwal and Eid ul Fitr.

A number of UK mosques, including Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC) in Birmingham, follow Saudi Arabia's declarations. But many other British organisations including the Noor TV Moonsighting Board and New Crescent Society look for the moon locally to declare a date based on a UK moonsighting. This can lead to two different dates within the UK. Here are the official moonsighting predictions for this year's Eid ul Adha.

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HM Almanac Office, a UK Government agency providing astronomical data for religious organisations, the armed forces and diary/calendar manufacturers, has provided detailed insight into the possibilities of getting a confirmed sighting.

The astronomers say the new moon is born on Thursday, June 6, at 1.38pm British Summer Time but won't be visible in western Europe, north Africa or the Middle East. It may be possible to see it by telescope in central and western parts of the USA.

Clear sightings of a thin crescent forming around the edge of the new moon will be possible with the naked eye on Friday, June 7, across most of the world, while Australia and South Africa may need to use telescopes. The whole globe will be able to see the crescent on Saturday, June 8.

In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, sunset will be at 7.02pm on June 7, followed by moonset at 8.14pm. In Rabat, Morocco, sunset on that day is at 8.37pm and moonset at 10.07pm.

Within the UK, Birmingham will experience its June 7 sunset at 9.27pm. Almost two hours later, the moon will set at 11.22pm. Timings elsewhere in the UK should be very similar.

Given these forecasts that the moon will be "easily visible" on June 7 and June 8, it's suggested that the new month of Dhul Hijjah will begin on June 8 or 9, and Eid ul Adha is likely to fall either on June 17 or 18.

However, the national calendar of Saudi Arabia, which is used by its government for planning events and national holidays, believes it could be a day earlier and has already marked June 16 as the date for Eid ul Adha. So this means Eid could potentially land on any of these three dates, depending on actual moonsighting reports nearer the time and whose declarations you align yourself with.

The Saudi declaration is traditionally followed by Birmingham's Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC), the organisers of the city's big Eid celebrations. This year's second Eid - sometimes written as Eid al-Adha and also known as Greater Eid, Bakra Eid, Bakrid, Qurbani Eid, Eid al Kabir, and Kurban Bayrami - is also expected to see a large public gathering in Birmingham.

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