Arab Timing

Many cultures seem to think their habit of being late is specific to their culture. Arabs also think that. And I have recently theorized why that might be: the Islamic calendar. See, my exhusband is currently in Bali, living it up, alone, because he is a failure at planning anything while I need things planned months in advance. He booked his ticket literally two days before leaving.

But in his defense, that’s how we get our holidays. I didn’t officially know I’d have the entire week off for Eid al Fitr until literally the Wednesday before the break. There were rumors, of course. But we all have to wait for an official announcement. Which blows for planning trips, honestly. Unless, of course, you are of the spirit that can book a ticket two days before a trip and be totally fine with that.

One reason for such delays in official dates for things is the way the Islamic calendar works. It’s shorter than the Gregorian calendar and it revolves around the moon. (No pun intended.) Which means that you don’t actually know which day is going to be the start of the next month until you (ok, an official moon observer) observe the crescent moon. And Ramadan being one of those months, the dates of it relied on that observation, so we knew it would start on one of two days, but we weren’t 100% sure which day until that night. And Eid is the first day of the month after Ramadan, so again, we had to wait for the new crescent to be sighted.

Ok, fine, I don’t know if it’s correlation or causation, I just know that Arabs are often late and the Islamic calendar is confusing.

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