The first day of the new Islamic Hijri year 1441, which will start early next week, will be a public holiday in Egypt, officials said.
The exact date – which marks the beginning Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar – is yet to be determined by astronomical observations undertaken by Dar Al-Ifta, the authority in charge of issuing religious edicts.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Egyptians working at ministries, state institutions and public firms will take the day off.
The cabinet denied in a separate statement on its official Facebook page that Sunday has already been determined to be the start of the new year.
The Ministry of Labour said that employees in the private sector will also take the day off. Employees who work during the official holiday will be paid double their wage, the ministry said.
With the Hijri lunar calendar being 11-12 days shorter than the Western calendar, Muharram falls 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.