The Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia celebrated its 82nd “birthday” or National Day on Sunday the 23rd of September 2012. As usual, the streets were full of Saudis celebrating the National Day. In addition to everyone having Sunday off, King Abdullah had given an extra day off for government employees meaning many people got to enjoy a four-day weekend in Saudi Arabia.
All the main streets and roads were lined with Saudi flags. There must be literally tens of thousands of them. I wonder where they store them afterwards?
This year people had already began celebrating on Saturday and the streets flooded with cars flying Saudi flags and people hanging out of them. Tahlia street was fully packed with cars and young men dressed in the most creative outfits. Radio stations were playing patriotic songs and songs praising King Abdullah. Everything seemed to have turned green, including the Faisaliyah and Kingdom towers.
We went out on both evenings to see the celebrations. According to Arab News article there would be celebrations in Kindy plaza at the Diplomatic Quarters where thousands of Saudi flags would be distributed and there would be a special program there. We live nearby and went to check it out, there was nothing there to our disappointment! Strangely the article also said malls such as Panorama and Hayat would have programs for kids, but in reality the malls remained closed on Sunday. I wonder how many people went all the way to these locations only to find out there was nothing there.
Read on to find out all the cool activities and events we found around town!
*please note the below images are property of Blue Abaya and copyrighted under KSA and international copyright laws
There were many other events around town though and we headed to check them out. There was a small festival area set up in the historical Diriyah area. We drove around the Wadi Hanifa and saw many families had set up fires and BBQ’s around the wadi. The weather is finally cooling down and evenings in the wadi are very pleasant.
The Diriyah festival had some traditional dancing and music, poetry recitals, small handicraft market and camel rides.
It was a very Happy Saudi National Day!
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Hello there! I’m Laura, the founder of Blue Abaya- the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia, established in 2010. Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 70 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia!