April 21, 2023 a regular holiday for Eid'l Fitr in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The Malacañang Palace announced on Friday a proclamation for Eid'l Fitr (Feast of Ramadan) regular holiday, which will fall on April 21, 2023 (Friday).

Based on Presidential Proclamation No. 201 dated April 14 and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, the Palace said President Ferdinand R. Marcos declared April 21 as a regular holiday nationwide “to allow the entire Filipino nation to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr.”

The proclamation also said the declaration will “bring religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness.”

It added that the “National Commission on Muslim Filipinos has recommended the declaration of Friday, 21 April 2023 as a national holiday in observance of Eid’l Fitr as a regular holiday throughout the country.”

SEE ALSO: UPDATED LIST: Holidays in the Philippines 2023

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting. It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon.

The holy fasting period for Ramadan started on March 23, 2023, according to Bangsamoro Darul Ifta (BDI), the Islamic advisory council which has jurisdiction over the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The date of Ramadan 2023 was also published on bangsamoro.gov.ph, adding that it will end on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

"Eid al Fitr 2023 is expected to be celebrated on Friday, April 21, 2023. This is the tentative date as the actual date of commencement of Ramadan 2023 is subject to the sighting of the moon," BDI said.

Devout Muslims fast every day for about 30 days from dawn to sunset during the entire Ramadan, which they consider a period of introspection, communal prayer in the mosque, and reading of the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

Muslims praying together in mosque
Muslims praying together in mosque.

In November 2002, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Republic Act No. 9177 into law declaring the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar, a national holiday for the observance of Eidul Fitr.

According to RA 9177, "the approximate date of these Islamic holidays may be determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations, whichever is possible or convenient."

Eid al-Fitr is traditionally celebrated by families gathering in large congregation for an Eid prayer to express gratitude to Allah for having been able to perform their personal sacrifices.

Eid'l Fitr is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations. The other one is Eid al-Adha or The Feast of the Sacrifice, celebrated on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar and commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son to God. Eid al-Adha also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, the 5th Pillar of Islam.

In the Philippines, Muslim Filipinos comprise about 6 percent of the population.

— The Summit Express

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