Well, as I write this, it’s Tuesday, October 8, 2013. There is a national holiday coming up, and the dates of this holiday were announced last week. Wait, you say, nobody knows the exact date of a holiday until two weeks beforehand? Quite right. That’s because, even with the amazing technology that we possess in this modern era, the local government insists upon waiting until the various phases of the moon are abundantly clear—remember, this is an Islamic country, and the Islamic calendar is lunar, not solar, and so things are more than a little different from the USA. Some holidays are fixed, of course, such as National Day, which always falls on the same day in December. The ones of religious significance are the ones that are in flux, such as this. It’s called Eid al Adha, and I mentioned it last year in our post about going to Muscat.
In a nutshell, the holiday is a celebration of Abraham, who you may remember from the Bible, and his willingness to sacrifice for God. Lots of goats will die during this time as people slaughter them and share the meat with their families and the needy.
Anyway, the holiday means that we have time off from work. As you no doubt know, there is nothing like time off to put a smile on a person’s face. Since Eid is going to fall on October 15, the middle of next week, we have been expecting to have most of the week off. However it wasn’t until two days ago that it was announced that government workers would have the whole week off, which, if you count the coming weekend, amounts to 9 days off in a row. That’s pretty nice, right? Now, I can only assume that we teachers are going to be off on those days, too, because the Abu Dhabi Education Council hasn’t seen fit to notify us peons as to when we’re officially off.
This is the sort of thing that can be a bit upsetting—after all, when given the time and the opportunity, the wife and I like to travel, and 9 days is plenty of time to go somewhere interesting. Knowing when those days would fall, though, is a key piece of information a person needs to purchase an airline ticket and make plans. On the other hand, far be it from me to complain too loudly—having 9 days is great, even if we didn’t have advance notice. Sticking around the house and perhaps seeing some new quarters of the UAE instead of going farther afield is still going to be pretty neat, I guess. Come on, Eid break. Arrive quickly. We need you. I need you. My sanity requires you.