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Many Muslims in countries such as Canada 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. It falls on Sunday, September 1, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Canada.
What Do People Do?
Muslims in Canada choose to fast during Muharram, although fasting is not obligatory. Many Muslims also engage in voluntary prayer, including evening prayer, during Muharram. Some Islamic organizations in Canada host lectures and sessions regarding the mourning associated with the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali (also known as Imam Hussain) that occurred in 680 CE. Some people also read books about Islam to increase their knowledge on the teachings of Islam.
The Day of Ashura (or Ashurah) is known as the most sacred day in the month of Muharram. 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.
The first day of Muharram is an Islamic observance and is not a nationwide public holiday in Canada.
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 his clan (Ahl al-Bayt) 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 countriesRead 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 New Moon is first seen.
|2010||Wed||Dec 8||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2011||Sun||Nov 27||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2012||Thu||Nov 15||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2013||Tue||Nov 5||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2014||Sat||Oct 25||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2015||Thu||Oct 15||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2016||Mon||Oct 3||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2017||Fri||Sep 22||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2018||Wed||Sep 12||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2019||Sun||Sep 1||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
|2020||Thu||Aug 20||Muharram/Islamic New Year||Muslim|
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