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 75 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Follow my adventures in Saudi and beyond on instagram: instagram.com/blueabaya
Looks like you all had fun.
Nice pictures! Looks like a fun time. Too bad the women weren’t able to let their hair out if only for one day!
I’m from Greece ! I’m so curious about customs there ! I’m reading often your blog ! It’s a totally different culture than western one ! Thanks for your time ! I wish all the best for you and your family !
To be honest, I doubt if I could live there !
Geià sou !
Great Post Layla ! Could u please share more pictures of ur beautiful daughter ? :)
Creepy ? Really ?
Bourne69 you can see some on the Blue Abaya Facebook page click on the link on the top of this page :)
check this out layla…..taped on national day
Hey everyone sorry for not responding earlier, been terribly busy the last few days, thanks for the comments!
I rather not post lots of pics of my daughter :)
Hey, great article and nice pictures! I was born on the 23rd September <3
But it just doesn't feel right for Saudi flags which has Allah's name in it to be used in such away as to be worn like that…
Hi Khawla! Thanks and Happy birthday to you!
Yes you have a point there! In Finland we are actually quite specific about the Finnish flags and it's respected a lot. Rarely you will see people "abusing" them :)
Missing your regular posts abut interesting and thought provoking topics..it seems the blogging is slowing down. Looking forward to reading some more in the future.
(Habby) LOOOOL! My husband has lived 5 years in USA and still cannot differentiate between the P and B. I guess it is Saudi thing.
Your daughter looks beautiful in her jalabia Mashallah!
What a lovely post, I enjoyed looking at all the pictures. I also enjoyed my Sunday off, which I celebrated by having an early morning family picnic and then a super long nap :) So it’s nice to see what everyone else was up to.
NB – I rexpect and agree with your decision to keep photos of your daughter to a minimum.
Sorry to post as anonymous – I dont have a google, AIM etc account
As always I love the amount of thought, time, and energy goes into your work Laylah. Great pictures, makes me miss my national days in Riyadh and Jeddah (Jeddah is much more fun than Riyadh on the National Day, and most other days).
alexofarabia-thank you so much and I agree about Jeddah :)
[…] while cheering and singing patriotic songsCheck out some of my photos from the previous year’s National Day celebration in Riyadh to find out all the stuff you’re missing out on if you decide on staying on the […]
[…] waving Saudi flags and posters of the King. A similar scenario can be seen on the streets during National Day celebrations, something quite new to be allowed to celebrate in the Saudi Kingdom […]
Nice photographs. This is the way a nation should celebrate its national day.
More power to Saudi Arabia