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Islamic New Year Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the Islamic New Year.

For followers of Islam in the western hemisphere, the next New Year begins on the evening of July 19, 2023. The exact date can vary depending on the method used to determine the start of the new year: using local moon-sighting or using astronomical calculations for the new moon.

Facts

The Islamic New Year begins on the first day of the first month of the Islamic calendar.

The first month of the Islamic year is called Muharram.

The Islamic New Year has been observed in this way since 622 AD when the prophet Mohammed fled from Mecca to Yathrib (now called Medina) to escape religious persecution.

This migration is called Hijra in Arabic, also spelled Hegira.

The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar year.

The Islamic calendar has 12 months but only 354 days.

The Islamic New Year is usually celebrated with low-key religious events.

The day is an official holiday in some Muslim countries, but is a regular working day in others.

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