new moon appeared on Sept.1st of this year. The sighting of the new moon is important to Muslims in calculating their religious holidays. In spite of the fact that scientists tell us the date of this particular new moon was Sept.1st, in order to declare the beginning of any Islamic holy day, Saudi Arabia depends on the testimonies of people in the desert as to whether or not they have spotted the moon. This year, the moon was not visible on Sept 1st, and was not seen by the "official moon spotters" in Saudi Arabia until the next evening.
Why is this even worth mentioning?
The Eid al-Adha, Islam's holiest festival celebrated annually around the world and an official holiday in Muslim-majority countries, is determined by the sighting of this particular new moon. Because the new moon was spotted on Sept. 2nd, the Eid al-Adha will be on Sept 12 this year. Had the new moon been spotted in Saudi Arabia on the 1st - when astronomers say it actually occurred - this holy Islamic festival would have fallen on the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Muslims in the U.S. are reportedly relieved that the powers that be proclaimed Sept.12 and not Sept.11 as the start of Eid al-Adha.
Not being able to resist any holiday what-so-ever, the Philippine government has declared, Monday Sept.12 as a National Holiday.
Islamic tradition calls for the sacrifice on Eid al-Adha, of a cow, camel, goat, sheep, or ram (depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son.
Perhaps it might be fitting for us to commemorate Sept.11 and 12 with bacon.