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Shortened Eid holiday sparks anger

September 20 and 21, previously designated as public holidays in connection with Eid Al Adha, will now be working days, the government has announced. The reversal has sparked anger.



The government’s decision to shorten the Eid Al Adha holiday break has sparked anger.

September 20, 21, and 22, previously designated public holidays in connection with Eid Al Adha, will now be working days, the government announced today.

The changes to the Eid holidays follow Saudi Arabia’s declaration that the first day of Dhul Hijja, the last month of the lunar calendar, now falls on September 15 instead of September 14.

The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca takes place in Dhul Hijja.

The changes mean that Eid Al Adha, the religious holiday observed at the end of the pilgrimage, will now fall on September 24 instead of September 23.

The Islamic calendar is based on the phases of the moon and the dates of the religious festivals are subject to the sightings of the moon.

President’s Office spokesman Ibrahim Muaz Ali made the announcement of the shortened Eid break via twitter with the hashtag “#ThankyouPresidentYameen.”

The government has now designated September 27, Sunday as a public holiday.

Maldivians took to social media to express discontent, with many arguing that civil servants and employees working in the private sector have already made holidays plans and booked tickets and hotels for domestic and international travel.

“The announcement to ‘help government employees’ have now become a menace,” tweeted another, describing the government’s policies with the hashtag #Amaazlaahoorey, which translates into “aimless pledges.”

“Will the government pay for refunds?” asked another.

Many residents of capital Malé travel out of the city for the prolonged break.