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3 national holidays in the Middle East

Festivities in a country are often what best characterizes it historically and culturally. In the Arab world, in particular, celebrations are an opportunity to celebrate the most beautiful ceremonies, share culinary traditions and learn more about the country's own history. Focus on three national holidays in the Arab world that deserve to be celebrated.

Lebanon

At each national holiday, its meaning. On November 22, 1943, Lebanon declared its independence from France. In memory of this major turning point, the country chose this date as its national holiday, although the country’s independence was only effective on 1 January 1944 and the departure of French and British troops did not take place until 1946.

 

Every year, the city of Beirut, which has suffered particularly in the fight for independence, organizes festivities, starting with the traditional speech to the nation the day before by President Aoun. For several days, Lebanon comes alive with the colors and rhythm of the various cultural events.

United Arab Emirates

For 48 years, on 2 December, the United Arab Emirates has been celebrating its national holiday. On this occasion, the Emirates commemorate the creation of the Federation of the United Arab Emirates, which took place on 2 December 1971, the date on which the six emirates that had hitherto been British colonies (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, and Fujairah) gained their independence before being joined the following year by the seventh emirate, Ras el Khaïmah.

 

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. نحن بانتظاركم في الثاني من ديسمبر في الاحتفال الرسمي باليوم الوطني السابع والأربعين في استاد مدينة زايد الرياضية تحت شعار "هذا زايد .. هذه الإمارات" … احتفال نجدد فيه عهد الولاء للوطن والقيادة الرشيدة The official 47 UAE National Day Celebration awaits on December 2nd at Zayed Sports City Stadium under the title "This is Zayed, this is the UAE.“ . #هذا_زايد #هذه_الإمارات #الإمارات_تحتفل #روح_الاتحاد47 #اليوم_الوطني_الإماراتي #اليوم_الوطني47 #عام_زايد #ThisIsZayed #ThisIsTheUAE #UAECelebrates #SpiritOfTheUnion47 #NationalDay47 #UAENationalDay #YearofZayed

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For two days, the whole country lives to the rhythm of the festivities and wears its best clothes to celebrate its independence. On the program, parades unveiling portraits of Sheikh Zayed, the first President of the Federation, all kinds of shows and impressive fireworks from iconic locations follow one another in the streets. At nightfall, the city’s tall buildings like the Burj Khalifa light up in red and green, turning into real giant flags.

Bahrain

Although Bahrain’s independence was proclaimed on 15 August 1971, putting an end to the British protectorate, the arrival of the king in power on 16 December 1971 was much more significant for Bahrainis. In line with their desire not to be part of the new United Arab Emirates federation in 1971, Bahraini people have chosen to celebrate every year for 48 years the rise of the king in power on 16 December. 

 

On this occasion, the country gets colorful and adopts a festive mood for a whole week. Street shows, traditional dances, and music, fireworks, culinary events… Many festivities are organized and last until the end of the night, such as the cultural event “Manama doesn’t sleep”, where for 12 hours, concerts and parties follow one another to the great delight of the population.