Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has declared Friday, May 14 as a public holiday to mark Idd ul Fitr. Matiangi announced through a Gazette notice no. 4205 dated Wednesday, May 5. “It is notified for the general information of the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 2(1) of the Public Holidays Act, declares that Friday, the 14th May, 2021, shall be a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Fitr,” the notice stated.
The news comes as Muslims had to align with new measures issued as they observed the holy month of Ramadan during the time President Uhuru Kenyatta had imposed a lockdown on five counties primarily Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos. Muslim leaders had directed Imams and congregants in counties whose curfew is 10 pm to complete their prayers at 9.30 pm. Those within the five counties were advised to hold their prayers at home. This, the leaders entailed, was in a bid to enable the faithfuls to get home on time as well as observe regulations imposed by the government.
“We have prepared ourselves. There are sanitisers in mosques, there are temperature guns and we shall ensure that social distance is kept as per the directive from the Ministry of Health,” stated an Imam. Further, the government through National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani had allowed the duty-free importation of dates during the month of Ramadan. Dates are dark-skinned fruits with minimal rips and tears harvested from date palm trees.
The Holy month of Ramadan entails fasting which is among the five pillars of Islam and is observed by Muslims worldwide who break their fast at sundown every evening. They consume dates before eating any other meal during this period. The start of Ramadan fluctuates every year because the lunar Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon. The beginning and end are determined by a moon-sighting committee in Saudi Arabia.
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