Next Saturday will be a day off for the private sector in Egypt to mark the Moulid El-Nabi celebration as well as for the governmental sector, Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan said on Friday.
The celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is on 12 Rabei Al-Awwal in the Islamic lunar calendar, which falls this year on 9 November.
Saafan said that private sector employers can require workers to work on the day, but must pay double-time.
The Moulid El-Nabi is a widely celebrated across the Islamic world; in Egypt, dolls and sweets, including horse-shaped candy, are widely sold to commemorate the day.
Family gatherings and religious celebrations in mosques are also part of the holiday.
The celebration of the holiday in Egypt dates back to the Fatimid era (the 10th to 12th century AD), when moulids, or the birthdays of religious figures, were marked with public festivals and military processions.