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Muharram/Islamic New Year in Australia

Many Muslims in countries such as Australia observe the start of the Islamic New Year on the first day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar.

Is Muharram/Islamic New Year a Public Holiday?

Muharram/Islamic New Year is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Prayer is one of the activities that many Muslims take part in during the month of Muharram.

©iStockphoto.com/Özgür Donmaz

What Do People Do?

Many Islamic organizations publish events calendars that include the Islamic New Year, which is the first day of the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. Some educational organizations and universities also record the first day of Muharram and the Day of Ashura in their events calendars. Many Muslims in Australia observe the day with prayers, readings and reflection on the hegira, which is the year in which the Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina.

Muharram is a sacred month and the Day of Ashura (or Ashurah) is known as the most sacred day of the month. It is the 10th day of Muharram and is a day of fasting for many Sunni Muslims. Many Shi’a Muslims use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali in 680 CE. Some Muslims give to charity on this day. Some Islamic organizations in Australia host lectures and sessions about Muharram.

Public Life

The first day of Muharram is an Islamic observance and is not a nationwide public holiday in Australia.

Background

Muharram is the first month in the Islamic year and a time of mourning and peace. It is forbidden for Muslims to fight during this month. A number of important events in Islamic history have occurred during this month. These include:

  • The Battle of Karbala (currently in Iraq) in the year 680 CE, which enabled Husayn ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammed, and his army to enter the city on the first day of the month.
  • The restriction of Husayn ibn Ali's access to water on the seventh day.
  • The death of Husayn ibn Ali and the defeat of his army on the 10th day of the month.

The Shi'a and Sunni denominations of Islam attach different weights to these events and mark them in different ways.

About Muharram/Islamic New Year in Other Countries

Read more about Muharram/Islamic New Year.

Muharram/Islamic New Year Observances

Note: Regional customs or Moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the Crescent Moon is first seen.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2017SunOct 1Muharram/Islamic New YearMuslim
2018FriSep 21Muharram/Islamic New YearMuslim
2019TueSep 10Muharram/Islamic New YearMuslim
2020SatAug 29Muharram/Islamic New YearMuslim
2021MonAug 9Muharram/Islamic New YearMuslim
2022MonAug 8Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)Muslim
2023FriJul 28Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)Muslim
2024WedJul 17Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)Muslim
2025SunJul 6Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)Muslim
2026FriJun 26Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)Muslim
2027TueJun 15Muharram/Islamic New Year (Tentative Date)Muslim

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.