Muslims around the world are celebrating the Islamic New Year as August 31, 2019, was officially declared the first day (1st Muharram) of the year 1441 Hijri.
According to Khaleej Times, the Muharram 1 crescent, which marks the beginning of the Hijri (Islamic) New Year, was spotted in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Another tweet by Saudi News said that Saturday is the first day of the Hijri New Year.
The Hijri calendar started in the year 622 AD with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Makkah to Madinah, known as the Hijra.
Muslims use this lunar Hijri calendar to calculate times of prayers, fasting, Hajj, and other religious celebrations. While some determine the new month by moon-sightings, most Islamic countries follow astronomical calculations.
A Hijri day starts at sunset. Thus, observing the crescent of a new Hijri month occurs during the sunset. If the crescent sets before the sunset, this means there is no new month. If it sets after the sunset, this means the beginning of the new month.
The lunar Hijri calendar is eleven to twelve days shorter than the solar Gregorian one. Thus, the first day of the Hijri New Year, Muharram 1, doesn’t come on the same day of the Gregorian calendar every year.
Muharram is one of the four sacred months of the Hijri year.