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Islamic New Year

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The Islamic Calendar
Muslim Holidays
• Islam

Islam has a calendar based on the revolutions of the Moon. Thus, it is only 354 days long. Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the first Islamic month. Compared to Western calendars, the Islamic year goes 11 days backwards every year. (So, in 2011 on the Western Calendar, the New Year is November 26.)

The marking of the beginning of the new year is usually quiet, unlike New Year's celebrations associated with other calendars. Muslims gather in mosques for special prayers and readings. A major part of the holiday is the telling of the hegira, Muhammad's flight from Medina to Mecca. Muslims also reflect on the passing of time and their own mortality.

The New Year itself is known to Muslims as Maal Hijra.

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