The Muslim observance Mawlid, also known as The Prophet's Birthday, takes place on December 12, 2016. On this day Sunni Muslims celebrate the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is the 12th day of Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Shi'a Muslims mark it on the 17th of this month. The 12th day, however, is the most popular one from a list of many dates that are reported as Muhammad's birth date.
The Prophet's Birthday is celebrated in most predominantly Islamic countries, and in other countries that have a significant Muslim population, such as France, India, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Germany, Nepal, Russia, and Italy. Islamic schools, stores, and businesses may be closed for part of or all of the day. In some Arabian countries like Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia it is not an official public holiday.
Muhammad is believed to be the last prophet. The celebration of Muhammad's birthday was initiated by the Fatimid's. The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588. The Prophet's Birthday often is celebrated in a carnival manner, large street processions are held and homes or mosques are decorated. Charity and food is distributed, and stories about the life of Muhammad are narrated with recitation of poetry by children. The main significance of these festivities is expression of love for Muhammad, who was born in Mecca in the year 570 of the Gregorian calendar.