Prophet’s birthday comes twice in 2015

Dubai: The UAE in 2015 declared a holiday for the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) twice — in January and December — as the Islamic year cycle was completed before the Gregorian year cycle.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Labour announced public and private sectors will have a holiday on December 24 to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet. In the UAE and many other Muslim countries, the Prophet’s birthday is officially held on the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal, the third month of the Islamic Hijri calendar.

The Hijri year is 354 days, compared to the longer Gregorian year of 365 days. As a result, the Hijri calendar “moves” through the seasons, arriving around 10 days “sooner” each year when compared to the Gregorian calendar.