Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Happy Eid al-Fitr (I hope ... )
NASA astronaut and geologist Harrison Schmidt (one of my heroes) during 1972's Apollo 17 mission to the (non-crescent) Moon.
I'm not a Muslim, but I'll be sitting with bated breath tonight to see if someone in the United States sees the new crescent moon, thus signaling the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr.
The non-religious reason I care is that my boss will be taking tomorrow off if Eid has begun and I get to come in on my off day and take his place. Normally -- like most people -- I wouldn't want to come in on my day off. But with my upcoming trip to Australia cutting severely into my work schedule, I want to take extra hours wherever I can.
Thanks to the fact that my boss follows the tradition where someone in the country actually has to see the Moon with his own eyes -- despite the fact that the phases and illumination of the Moon are predictable centuries in advance -- it's not known yet whether he will take Wednesday or Thursday off. Wednesday I can do, but on Thursday I have a doctor's appointment in the morning and have to pick Ian up from school in the afternoon. I want those hours, so I really hope someone sees the Moon tonight.
The most likely spot tonight for an American new moon (or hilal) sighting would be Miami, but the forecast shows that it will be rainy in south Florida this evening.
The end of Ramadan also means my boss can eat lunch with me again. We'd been alternating who buys and it's been stuck on his turn for a month!