The government of Kenya has declared Friday, July 31, 2020, as a public holiday for Muslims to observer Idd-Ul-Azha. The holiday has left Kenyans excited, especially those in formal employment.
“Friday 31, July 2020 has been designated as a Public Holiday of the General Observance throughout the territory of the Republic of Kenya,” said a statement from the Ministry of Interior, signed by CS Fred Matiang’i.
Idd-Ul-Azha is an Islamic celebration that is marked to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son.
The celebration also marks the end of Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is one of the two idd celebrations by Muslims and often considered holier of the two.
This year’s celebrations are coming at a time the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic that is sweeping across the world killing and infecting people. Various countries have outlined various measures to protect their citizens against the pandemic.
In Kenya, the number of deaths is above 300 (311 as of Wednesday) and the number of confirmed cases stood above 19,000 (might hit 20,000 by the end of the week).
To help in stopping the spread of the virus, the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health has banned all gatherings that involve more than 15 people.
For religious gatherings such as churches and mosques, the faithful should not be more than 100 and the session should not take more than one hour. Churches have complained against the directive.
As per the directive from the Ministry of Health, Muslims in Kenya will not be allowed to gather and celebrate as it has always been in the previous years.
The holiday also comes at a time majority of Kenyans are working from their homes. Stats indicate that more than 70 percent of Kenyans with office work are working from their homes to protect themselves against the virus.