Government reverses decision on shortened Eid holiday

Government reverses decision on shortened Eid holiday
September 15 13:47 2015

The government has reversed a decision to shorten the Eid Al Adha holiday break following a public outcry.

The president’s office had announced yesterday that September 20, 21, and 22, previously declared public holidays, will be working days.

The changes followed Saudi Arabia’s declaration that the first day of Dhul Hajja, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, will be September 15 and not September 14 as previously expected.

Consequently, Eid Al Adha, the religious holiday observed at the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, will be Thursday, September 24 instead of Wednesday, September 23.

Maldivians expressed anger on social media yesterday as many civil servants and state employees had booked tickets for domestic and international travel in anticipation of the week-long break.

President’s Office Spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali announced this morning that President Abdulla Yameen has decided that September 20 to 22 as well as September 27 will be public holidays following “complaints from many people.”

“This government’s decisions will be in line with the people’s wishes,” Muaz tweeted, adding that the decisions will be made for the public’s convenience and benefit.

“No further changes will be made to the official government holidays related to the Eid holiday,” he said.

Government offices will now closed for the whole of next week as well as Sunday, September 27.

Several people reportedly tried to change the dates of departure, but many were unable to do so due to airlines being fully booked.

Many residents of the capital Malé travel out of the city for Eid holidays.