Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday is an annual public holiday in Lebanon that is celebrated each year on 12 Rabi al-Awwal on the Islamic calendar. The date moves by approximately 11 days each year on the Gregorian calendar.
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Lebanon has unique religious demographics in the Middle East, and that fact is reflected on the holiday calendar. Both Christmas and Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (Mawlid) are public holidays in Lebanon, a land 55 percent Muslim and 40 percent Christian.
To make matters even more diverse, there is a near 50-50 split between Sunnis and Shiites among Lebanon’s Muslim population. This affects when Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday is observed at a local level, since Sunnis keep it on the twelfth and Shiites on the seventeenth of the month of Rabi al-Awwal.
In Lebanon, there are many Mawlid parades, special mosque services, and family feasts on Prophet’s Birthday. Sufis in Sidon and elsewhere put on colourful dances and musical performances as well.