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MPS Board of Education votes to cancel classes on April 21 to celebrate Eid holiday

Minneapolis Public Schools did apologize for the late notice for parents and said June 16 could be a possible make-up day.

MINNEAPOLIS — At Holy Land Middle Eastern Restaurant and Deli in Minneapolis... 

"I have 10 kids; eight of my kids go to Minneapolis Public Schools," said MPS parent Amino Farrah.

Farrah is shopping for her family. She's also gearing up to celebrate the upcoming Eid holiday. 

In 2022, several school districts across the state added Eid as a school holiday, and this year, Minneapolis Public Schools made an announcement saying schools will be closed on Friday to honor the holiday.

They went on to say, "Our best understanding at the time showed Eid would occur on Saturday, April 22, however, we have been made aware recently that Eid prayers and celebrations will be held on Friday, April 21."

But there's a very specific reason why it's not always easy to tell what day Eid will fall on. 

"Lunar cycle is very important in several religions — the degree is different," University of St. Thomas Associate Chaplin Islamic Faith Dr. Sadaf Shierc said. "Several holidays in the Jewish calendar are observed according to the movement of the moon." 

Dr. Shier says there are differences in the way Eid is celebrated in Western cultures and Muslim countries.  

"The Muslim countries are set up for it, and Western are not," Dr. Shier. "In Muslim countries, it is considered excitement, suspense, curiosity — will the new moon appear today or tomorrow? If the new moon appears tonight, it'll be Eid, if the new moon appears, it will be Ramadan, right? If it does not, it will be Eid a day after," she said.

Dr. Shier says when it comes to planning, it's all about awareness. "My Muslim student may be celebrating Eid on the 21st or 22nd, and I need to be flexible." 

While Eid is a time for celebration, "There are several prayers in Islam that we do when we see the new moon," said Dr. Shier.

"Ramadan is our big holiday," said Farrah.

Both parents and experts say it's important for communities to learn about religions, culture and lived experiences outside of their own.

"Bringing this understanding that religious celebration is a constitutional right of Muslims, as it is a right of anyone else in the US," said Dr. Shier.

Minneapolis Public Schools did apologize for the late notice for parents and said June 16 could be a possible make-up day.

To view the full release, visit the link here.

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