Interior CS Matiang’i Declares Monday A Public Holiday To Mark Idd-ul-Fitr

Hundreds of Kenyan Muslims pray outside Masjid Noor mosque in Nairobi, Kenya, at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadhan / Courtesy

The government has declared Monday, May 25, a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Fitr.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i made the announcement through a gazette notice on Wednesday.

The day marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan according to the Muslim calendar.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Muslims won’t be able to hold their usual celebrations, because of the ban on public gatherings.

The government banned church and mosque gatherings in March this year as part of the measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta ruled out a curfew extension for Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

The President maintained that just like Christians celebrated Easter at home, the Muslims should not expect special treatment during the holy month.

Read: Kenya Among 28 Countries That Declined To Vote On UN Adopting Resolution Condemning Myanmar‘s Human Rights Abuses Against Rohingya Muslims

“Same to what we told Christians during Easter, this year is a special year. Everyone to celebrate at home. Muslims should follow suit and know that this is a special year,” said President Kenyatta.

In normal circumstances during Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, Muslim faithfuls wake up to cleanse their bodies in a ritual called ghusl.

After getting dressed for the day they gather in mosques or outdoor locations for prayers and listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food).

Afterwards, many visit the graves of their loved ones to pray and clean the gave sites. The faithfuls also exchange gifts during this time.

Customary greetings, Eid Mubarak, with a formal embrace – three times – are common during Eid.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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