Muslims in Sri Lanka and all over the world celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad today. The festival in usually called Milad un-Nabi in Sri Lanka, but also known as Nabi Day, Mawlid, Mohammad's Birthday or the Holy Prophet's Birthday. Milad un-Nabi is celebrated as a gazetted holiday in other Muslim minority countries, too, for example in India.
Most Sunni Muslims celebrate Milad un-Nabi on the 12th day of Rabi' al-Awwal, which is the third month in the Islamic lunar calendar. In the Muslim calender, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day. Due to the shorter lunar year, Milad un-Nabi will occur twice in 2014, the second time will be on Wednesday, the 23rd of December. But it will not be a second Milad un-Nabi public holiday in Sri Lanka.
Muslim observe Milad-un-Nabi gatherings to celebrate the advent of the Prophet Muhammad's birth and discuss his teachings, sometimes with night-long prayer meetings or meetings in front of the mosque or even parades. Festive green banners decorate mosques and other buildings. Many Muslims send Milad-un-Nabi greetings to relatives and friends.
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