How many days Eid ul Adha 2024 will last and when are the Eid holidays

Youngsters enjoy a funfair at Small Heath Park in Birmingham for the Eid ul Adha celebrations in July 2022
-Credit: (Image: PA)


Eid ul Adha 2024 is not too far away and millions of families are awaiting news of the date of the festivities. It all centres on the moon that determines the start of the month in which Eid falls.

In the lunar-based Islamic calendar, all months begin when there's a confirmed sighting of the first slim crescent of the new moon. Whereas the earlier Eid ul Fitr was at the start of the month of Shawwal and marked the end of Ramadan's daily fasting, this next Eid starts much later in the month of Dhul Hijjah.

Eid ul Adha begins on the 10th day of that 12th month in the Islamic calendar and lasts for four days inclusive until the sun sets on the 13th day of the month. In Islamic countries, there are public holidays around this time for people to be with their families and enjoy the festivities.

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The holidays begin with the Day of Arafah, the ninth day of the month that immediately precedes the start of Eid ul Adha. This day is said to be when Allah perfected the religion of Islam. In honour of this, worshippers who are in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage seek forgiveness for their sins on the Plains of Arafah, next to Mount Arafah which is 12 miles outside Mecca.

It was on the Plains of Arafah that Muhammad was told on a Friday by Allah that he had perfected the religion and chosen it for his people to follow. But in practice, the Day of Arafah does not necessarily fall on a Friday because it is always the ninth day of the month.

Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring countries are anticipating four or five days of public holidays for Eid this year, depending on the moonsighting announcements. Although Eid ul Adha spans four days, public holidays for Eid itself are generally three days but add on a fourth just beforehand for the Day of Arafah. The exact length of the holidays on how dates fall in relation to weekends, which can result in shorter or longer breaks.

It all rests on whether the crescent of the new moon is seen on June 6, which is the 29th day of the existing month of Dhul Qadah for nations in the Middle East. If the moon is sighted, the new month of Dhul Hijjah begins on June 7, the Day of Arafah is Saturday, June 15 and Eid ul Adha starts on Sunday, June 16. Residents get the next two weekdays off to continue their three days of Eid celebrations on Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18. This gives four days in total (June 15-18) for the celebrations.

If the moon isn't seen, Dhul Hijjah begins on June 8, the Day of Arafah is on Sunday, June 16, and Eid ul Adha begins on Monday, June 17, with two more days off awarded on June 18 and 19. Taking the weekend into account, this means five days in total (June 15-19) to mark the festivities.

Saudi Arabia has already marked June 16 as the likely day of Eid ul Adha in its national calendar, used by the Government to plan events and holidays. It's also set tentative dates of June 15 for the Day of Arafah and three days of Eid holiday from June 16 to 18 inclusive.

Qatar is also anticipating the same three days of Eid ul Adha holidays while the United Arab Emirates has set aside June 17-19 for Eid this year. Dates may be revised once each nation has a confirmed moonsighting.

Eid isn't a public holiday in the UK - despite campaigns to make it one - and is primarily a one-day event. Muslim schoolchildren can request a day off for the first and main day of the festivities.