Oman: Holidays                                                   

  • Omani culture has its roots in the Islamic religion. Oman developed its own particular form of Islam, called Ibadhism, after its founder, Abdullah ibn Ibadh who lived during the 7th century AD. Not all Omanis are Ibadhis. There are also Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Approximately 75% of Omani citizens are Ibadhi Muslims. Omanis are not only tolerant of the beliefs of different Muslim sects, they are also tolerant towards believers of other faiths, who are allowed to practice their religion in churches and temples.

 

  • Some of the holidays listed below are Muslim religious holidays and are observed throughout the Arab world. Individual countries may have additional observances. Observances are based on the lunar calendar so the dates on the Gregorian calendar vary from year to year.

Mouloud - birth of the Prophet

Leilat al-Meiraj - ascension of the Prophet

Renaissance Day - marking the start of the reign of Sultan Qaboos

Eid al-Fitr - end of Ramadan

National Day and Independence from Portugal – Nov 18

Birthday of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos – Nov 19

Eid al-Adha - feast of the sacrifice

Islamic (Hijri) New Year

 

Holy Days

  • Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar year. It occurs eleven days earlier each year. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims must not eat, drink, or smoke between sunrise and sunset. Tempers may flair more easily during this month of fasting. Your Muslim friends who observe the fast will appreciate it if you refrain from eating and drinking in their presence during the fast. During Ramadan, restaurants are closed during the day although discreet provisions are made for non-practicing guests in most hotels. Business days may not operate normally during this period.

 

  • Eid al-Adha, the feast of the sacrifice, is celebrated at the end of a Muslim's pilgrimage to Mecca. Mecca is an important holy site located in Saudi Arabia. Many devout Muslims make at least one trip (or pilgrimage) to the site in their lifetime. Many shops are closed for a day or two during the Eid holidays. Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha last from two to seven days depending largely on what day of the week Eid begins.

 

Daily Prayer

Observant Muslims pray five times each day while facing Mecca. Because daytime length changes throughout the year, the prayer times also change. Often prayer times are posted in public places for easy reference.

Prescribed times for prayer are named:

  1. Fajr one hour before sunrise
  2. Dhur at noon
  3. Asr mid-afternoon
  4. Maghreb sunset
  5. Isha about 90 minutes after sunset