Eid is the celebration of spending a month’s long fasting and is signified by the sighting of Shawwal’s moon. A committee of scholars sets down criteria similar to that for the sighting of Ramadan’s crescent. This becomes a precedent that is then followed for the observance of both Ramadan and Eid.
But it is a tad bit difficult to keep holiday announcements, and thereby preparations, until the last moment. Therefore, the government announces holidays and an expected date during the final days of Ramadan. Since Ramadan started on 23rd March, Thursday, naturally Shawwal would begin on 21st April, Friday.
Contradictory to what we thought, the Saudi government’s international astronomy center predicted that Eid ul Fitr 2023 would fall on Saturday. In line with this prediction, the government has announced holidays starting from Friday. Importantly, this is a day later than what was previously anticipated for the sighting of Eid’s crescent.
In a tweet, the Astronomy Centre pointed out how they were simply responsible for reporting astronomical information. This means that their prediction should not be substituted for an official announcement.
Nonetheless, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has issued an official notice of holidays starting from Friday. Coincidentally, this is also when the usual weekend starts.
Earlier this week, the government did announce that we might be celebrating Eid on Friday. But due to weather forecasts and astronomical data, this was overturned. A holiday of 4 days has been announced, excluding the weekend for the private and non-profit sectors. This means that work is expected to resume by Thursday, 27th of April. The school would continue after the next weekend, which is the 30th.