Matiangi declares July 20 a public holiday

Muslim to mark Eid-UL-Adha next week

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi has declared Tuesday, July 20, 2021, a public holiday.

This is because the Muslim annual pilgrimage known as the Hajj will start on July 18, 2021, to celebrate Eid al-Adha.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and a once-in-a-lifetime duty for all able-bodied Muslims to perform if they can afford it. Before the pandemic, some 2.5 million pilgrims would descend on Mecca for the five-day-long Hajj.

Eid-UL-Adha is marked on the tenth day of the month of Dhul Hijja in the Islamic lunar calendar and after the completion of the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Makka in Saudia Arabia.

Hajj starts on July 18

Hajj falls on the 8th of Dhul al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic lunar calendar which shifts 10-12 days earlier each year. This means that the next time Hajj will start after July 18 will be in the year 2054 – 33 years from now.

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Mecca is known for its hot desert climate with temperatures regularly exceeding 42C (107F) in the summer months. It will be at least another 10 years until the average high temperatures will be below 38C.

Muslims usually thronged the holy city to perform the annual pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is obligatory to only those who are financially capable and of good health.

Saudi Arabia has restricted this year’s hajj pilgrimage to 60,000 people within the Kingdom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival of sacrifice is important in the Islamic faith since Muslims commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim consecration and willingness to sacrifice his son.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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