Egypt’s manpower minister has announced that 20 August will be a paid day off for all private sector employees in celebration of the new Islamic Hijri year 1442.

Employees are to be paid double the normal wage if they work during the holiday, the manpower minister said in a statement on Monday.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had issued a decree on Sunday setting Thursday (the first day of the Islamic month of Muharram) as a paid holiday for all employees in ministries, state institutions, and public enterprise companies.

With the Hijri lunar calendar being 11-12 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, Muharram starts on a different date every year.

The Hijri calendar, which began in AD 622, is used by Muslims around the globe to determine annual fasting during the holy month of Ramadan as well as the Hajj pilgrimage and Muslim festivals.

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