Muscat: An hour-long viewing window on Saturday evening will determine if we have a long holiday weekend in Oman.
Read here: First day of Muharram will be public holiday in Oman
Earlier this week it was announced by the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs (MERA) that on Saturday, August 31, the moon will stay in the sky for around an hour on Saturday, giving the moon watching committee the chance to see it. The first day of the Hijri new year will be a public holiday. The holiday will either fall on Sunday, if the moon is spotted on Saturday evening, or Monday, if the sky watchers cannot spot it. Teams will be dotted across the Sultanate to look for the moon.
MERA's Astronomical Affairs Department said in a statement online: "After sunset on the night of 29 of Dhu Al Hijjah 1440 AH, corresponding to August 31 the moon will stay visible for about an hour and three minutes in the case of clear weather."
"If the crescent is seen, Sunday, September 1st, 2019 will be 1st Muharram 1441 AH," the Astronomical Affairs Department added.
The day will be a public holiday for government employees at ministries, public authorities, and other agencies as well as companies in the private sector as per the labour law.