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Islamic New Year
Lebanon

Islamic New Year 2019 and 2020

Islamic New Year’s Day is a national public holiday in Lebanon, providing a day off work for the whole population.

YearDateDayHoliday
201931 AugSatIslamic New Year
202020 AugThuIslamic New Year

Lebanon differs from most other Middle Eastern countries in that it has greater religious diversity. In Lebanon, about 54 percent are Muslim and 41 percent Christian. And of the Muslim population, about half are Sunni and half Shia.

This diversity is reflected on the Lebanese holiday calendar. For example, both Christmas and Mohammad’s Birthday are national holidays, as are both 1 January New Year’s Day and Islamic New Year’s Day.

The new year, in the Islamic world, begins on the first day of the month of Muharram, commemorating the migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina (called the Hijira) on that day around the year C.E. 622. For this reason, Islamic year-dates end with A. H., standing for “after Hijira.”

Islamic New Year is an important holiday for Muslims but also a low key one. Prayers, fasting, mosque attendance, and just getting a day off work are the main events.

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