Islamic Holidays
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(See Hegira)
Month Day Occasion
Muharram 1st Ra's as-sanah. (New Year).
Muharram 10th 'Ashura', for Sunnis a beneficent holy day whose observance is based upon the Sunnah. For the Shiites, however, it is coincidentally the anniversary of the slaying of Imam Hussein, it is the culmination of a period of serious mourning.
Rabi' al-Awwal 12th Mawlid (or Miladd) an-Nabi (Prophet's birthday). A festival marked by joyous celebrations, which carry according to local customs.
Rajab 27th Lailat al-Mi'raaj (The Night Journey). Joyous celebrations according to local customs.
Sha'ban 15th Laylat al-Barai'ah. According to pious belief, a night in which the destinies of the coming year are fixed, and sins absolved. Usually the occasion for intense prayers.
Ramadhan   The Month of fasting. The last ten days are particularly holy; the 27th is most often presumed to be the Lailat al-Qadr, the night of the descent of the Holy Qur'an. A very solemn event. Secular festivities are Prohibited in this month.
Shawwal 1st Eid al-Fitr (Feast of fast-breaking). Three days of festivities marking the end of Ramadhan.
Thu-l-Hijjah 10th Eid al-Ad'ha (Feast of Sacrifice). Commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham. It is celebrated throughout the Islamic world. The 8th, 9th, and 10th of this month are the days of pilgrimage to Mekka.
Eid al-Ghadir 18th A Shi'ite festival instituted by the Buyid Mu'izz ad-Dawlah in 962 AD. It commemorates the event of Ghadir Khumm, in which Shiites believe that the Prophet designated Ali as his successor. Not obsessed by Sunnis.
In addition to the holidays above, Shiites observe many commemorations of events in the lives of the Imams. In Iran, the celebration of the ancient Persian solar New Year, the Naw Roz, on the spring equinox, 21st March, constitutes an important national holiday. Although secular holidays, usually of a political nature, exist in most Islamic countries, the 'ulama' cannot condone the addition of any holidays of a civil nature to those above.