Celebrating Eid al Fitr in Saudi Arabia

In a country that is mostly populated by Muslims, abiding by their rules is kind of hard, especially for a Christian ESL teacher living in Riyadh. Since Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocracy, non-Muslims can’t practice their religions in the country. But despite this, living in Riyadh isn’t so bad. During Eid al Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, most businesses in Riyadh will be closed for the first three days of the celebration. A couple of malls and restaurants might remain open, but still some people end up not knowing what to do during this holiday.

Most of the festivities focus on celebrating the country’s heritage with traditional dances, music, poetry, food, exhibitions of culture and traditional handicraft markets.

Every year there are various celebrations and festivals all around the city of Riyadh during Eid al Fitr. There are events made for families, for ladies and for men only. Most of the festivities focus on celebrating the country’s heritage with traditional dances, music, poetry, food, exhibitions of culture and traditional handicraft markets.

If you’re a woman and you’re alone or with your girlfriends, you could celebrate with other ladies at the Women’s festival building in the King Abdulaziz Historical Center. Women can have henna tattoos & face paintings made, watch live shows, and even dance and sing traditional Saudi songs.

If you’re with a group of people, like family or friends; you can enjoy a day out in the Thumamah sand dunes—yes, even if you’re a woman. They have a lot of options for you to enjoy. Choose from quad bike rentals, camel rides, kite flying, horseback and camel riding, dune bashing and sand boarding. Prices usually range according to bike size from 100-300 SAR an hour. You can choose between bikes with gears and automatic ones, as well as small bikes for the children. You can even rent tents with their own yards and enjoy a meal by the camp fire or inside the air conditioned tents. You can also go and visit the Show’s Square off exit 10 where there are plenty of motorsports. They have a high diving show, motorcycle show, modified cars show, wall trampolines, flying trapeze, as well as remote controlled car shows and competitions. Oh, and did I mention that they can be visited by the whole family?

Riyadh has a lot more to offer, and not just during Eid Al Fitr. The holiday actually just gives you an excuse to explore the city and join in the celebration. So party with the locals and enjoy!

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