The Eid holiday will begin on Friday, August 17 and end on Sunday, August 26 for some private sector workers…

Workers in the banking sector in Saudi Arabia are in for a nine-day(!) Eid Al Adha holiday.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) announced that banks, finance and insurance companies will be off from Friday, August 17, until Sunday, August 26, following confirmation from from the Saudi Stock Exchange that the bourse would suspend trading during the Eid break.

This announcement follows a similar one from yesterday by the Kuwaiti Cabinet stating that public sector workers in that country will be receiving a week-long break from Sunday, August 19, until Thursday, August 23.

So what about the UAE?

Although it still hasn’t been confirmed, Gulf News reports that according the astrological calculations of an astronomer from the Sharjah Planetarium, Arafat Day (the day before Eid) is likely to fall on Tuesday, August 21.

This means that the first day of Eid Al Adha should be Wednesday, August 22 which, if all goes well, could result in a five-day weekend (fingers crossed!).

Last year, private sector workers received only one extra day off, with public sector workers receiving two days, after Eid fell on Friday September 1.

What is Eid Al Adha?

This holiday honours Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (which is why goats are symbolically sacrificed over this period). It is separate from Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

During the holiday period families get together and exchange gifts of sweets and perfume, and women often apply mehndi/henna designs to their hands.

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