Saudi Arabia may only have three public holidays a year, but all three occasions are celebrated in a big way! And among them, the country's bank holidays takes place, as it does every year, on 23 September. A day of celebration to commemorate the kingdom's 91st birthday, understand the country's history and pay tribute to its culture. Here is a look back at the most beautiful celebrations of the day.
But to understand the history of the Kingdom, you must first understand its identity: the flag and the emblem of the celebration. Designed in 1926, the green background of the flag echoes the colour of Islam. In white, a sword, symbol of justice and the Shahada: the Muslim profession of faith.
91 years of love and loyalty 🇸🇦💚 pic.twitter.com/wGqFwjgPSG
— dina (@_a5ui) September 23, 2021
But the bank holidays is also the best opportunity for the kingdom to highlight its achievements of the past year. So, these days, all you have to do is walk through the country’s streets to discover, in one iconography, all the Saudi achievements, from its involvement in the ecological transition to the acceleration of its conquest of space…
From the sea to the sky, spectacular shows
On the initiative of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA), exclusive air shows were organised throughout this national day. On the programme? Loopings and aerial acrobatics of multiple civilian and military aircraft that flew over the skies of Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif, Abha, Tabuk, Al-Baha, Al-Khobar or Al-Jubail.
Wishing everyone a very happy 91st Saudi National day!
— Natt Sb (@NattSbOfficial) September 22, 2021
On the maritime side, the meeting places were on the Jeddah corniche and the Al-Khobar corniche to admire the multiple dances between waves and ships.
Exhibitions with artistic and artisanal tints
Children and adults alike, adventurers and enthusiasts alike, were able to find something to their liking among the dozens of exhibitions and workshops set up especially for the event.
For coffee enthusiasts, the Coffee Tales exhibition was the place to be, highlighting the practice of coffee growing and the traditions associated with it, particularly in the Jazan region.
For the historically curious who are interested in the origins of the Kingdom, the Tafasil exhibition was definitely the one to visit. It succeeded in taking its visitors on a cultural journey that embodied the unity of the people and their interdependence from north to south and from east to west. This colourful space put the diversity of fashion, part of the region’s cultural heritage, into perspective while telling stories about the civilisations that inhabited them.
Fireworks like you’ve never seen before!
The bank holidays would not be the same without its traditional fireworks. An extraordinary show to celebrate the country’s birthday and to remind us of its history, prosperity and development.
The GEA has declared that this show will be the “most important activity” of the National Day evening. This will make the mouths of all Saudis water.
Culinary culture on the agenda
It is impossible to talk about Saudi culture without mentioning its culinary arts. Within the Kingdom and around the world, everyone is cooking up a tribute to Saudi Arabia.
Oriental pastries, jalamah, kebsa or macaroons… So many traditional or foreign dishes to delight the taste buds of hungry visitors.
All together to build the biggest Formula 1 car all in Lego
To celebrate Saudi Arabia’s bank holidays, the Kingdom distinguished itself with an unusual record: the construction of the world’s largest Lego representing a Formula 1 car.
On 23 September, citizens and residents were invited to participate in the construction of the Lego, along with Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi, Advisor to the Governor of Makkah Region and Acting Governor of Jeddah, and Prince Khalid bin Sultan al-Abdullah al-Faisal, President of the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation.
An event that took place at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah and was enjoyed by young and old alike.
An exclusive three-night concert
Finally, because you can’t have a National Day without music, an exclusive National Day concert with some of the country’s most famous singers will take place over three nights, with plenty of opportunity to sing your heart out.
It starts today and lasts until 25 September at the King Fahad Cultural Centre in Riyadh, and the music group composed of Rashed al-Majid, Majid al-Mohandis, Aseel Abu Bakr Salem, Dalia Mubarak and Ayed will be in charge of making the moment festive and danceable.
A challenge that has already been met, as the first two evenings of the show have been sold out!