All eyes will be on Crescent Observers Society (COS) on Saturday as it heads out to Three Anchor Bay for the annual sighting of the moon for Eid-ul-Fitr. The much loved cultural tradition takes place on the 29th day of Ramadan and will signify whether Eid will be celebrated on Sunday or Monday. If the crescent is sighted, it will mark the end of Ramadan and the start of the month of Shawaal. VOC will broadcast from Three Anchor Bay from 4pm and the announcement will be made after Maghrib.
The observers, known as the “Maankykers’ will be based at various lookout points, such as Three Anchor Bay, Signal Hill, Bakoven and Stellenbosch. At Three Anchor Bay in Seapoint, hundreds of Capetonians are expected to have iftaar at the viewing point, before venturing to catch a glimpse of the crescent.
According to Imam Yusuf Pandy, the chairman of the Crescent Observers Society of South Africa, the moon will be born at 4.31am and by sunset at 17.46pm, will be 13 hours and 15 minutes old. The duration of the lag time will be 42 minutes.
“Given the moon’s young age, it will not be easy to see the moon,” says Imam Pandy.
“If Allah wills, we will be fasting 30 days, InshaAllah.”
A section of Islamic scholars believe that seeing the moon with the naked eye should be the criterion for declaring the start of a new month.
According to experts, for a crescent moon to be visible its age should be around 24 hours, although the youngest sighted moon was only 14 hours old.
A crescent moon’s first sighting depends on several interrelated factors: moon’s age, angle (elongation), altitude, moonset after sunset, and the visibility curve.
Given the expected crowds at the event, the City of Cape Town’s traffic officials will be on high alert. Senior traffic officer Richard Coleman has urged motorists to not illegally park and obstruct driveways. Motorists can make use of the off road parking on Beach road or on the Main road or P10 parking lot at the stadium. Officers will be on the scene to assist motorists.
“No yellow or red line parking or obstructing drive ways,” Coleman warned.
“In previous events, we found many motorists illegal parking. We don’t want to ticket people or tow vehicles away unnecessarily.”
Extra police officers will be deployed to monitor the traffic flow. For emergencies, members of the public can approach any traffic officer for help.
Members of the public are urged to bring their own salah mats and to dress warmly, given the colder temperatures on the coastline. VOC