Traditional Festivals in Oman. Oman celebrates a number of days and occasions throughout the year; some religious and others cultural.
Oman festivals are most associated with Muslim celebrations. However, there are Christian minorities and a Hindu minority that mark the events in Oman.
This article will introduce you to the most popular events in Oman and their traditions.
Oman National Day
On the 18th of November, Oman celebrates the Oman National Day which is one of the most important festivals in the country.
In this public holiday, Omani people celebrate the independence from Portugal control in 1650, making Oman the oldest independent state in the Arab world.
On this “Oman National Day”, they decorate the streets with flags, events include parades, fireworks, camel races, an equestrian show, a marine festival and more.
The 23rd of July marks one of the most patriotic Oman festivals. It marks the anniversary of the Sultan's coup over Qaboos bin Said in 1970.
As important as the National Holiday, this date brought a new era of prosperity to Oman.
Muslims celebrate “Eid al-Fitr” in Oman as well as the Islamic world. Eid al-Fitr is one of the most important religious feasts celebrated by Muslims across the world.
It marks the end of Ramadan; the Islamic holy month of fasting. For three full days, the Omanis get up early to have breakfast together.
On the first day of “Eid al-Fitr” people gather in mosques to perform the Eid prayer. Afterwards, the celebration starts as people show off new clothes, prepare special dishes to share with their families and friends. Children also receive gifts and sweets are exchanged as a sign of love.
“Eid al-Adha” also known as the "Sacrifice Feast", is the second Muslim holiday celebrated in Oman each year. It lasts for four days.
On the first day of “Eid al-Adha”, Omani people gather in mosques to perform the Eid prayer. Then, they start the celebrations and outing together.
“Muscat Festival” is held from 15th of January to 13th of February 2021. This Festival is more than just a celebratory, cultural and artistic event, or merely an entertaining forum in which civilizations come together, involving multilingual activities, diversity of performances and events.
The festival features amazing firework displays, laser shows, besides other shows that represent Omani traditions.
In addition, there is Muscat Fashion Week and the Oman Food Festival.
Salalah Tourism Festival
Salalah Tourism Festival is an annual tourism festival that is held in Salalah usually during autumn, in order to celebrate the monsoon that lasts from June to early September. It becomes popular among Gulf nationals, expatriates and foreign tourists.
The festival has cultural, art, heritage, sport, contest and shopping activities. There are various local and international programs to meet every taste.
Therefore, it has grown into an international festival, due to the exerting efforts of the authorities to expand the existing tourism infrastructure in Salalah.
Sultan Camel Race Cup
“Sultan Camel Race Cup” is an annual National Camel Races Festival to encourage one of the traditional and ancient Omani sports and impress upon Oman’s glorious history.
It is a popular sport festival where camels compete at speeds of up to 64 kilometers per hour on tracks specially built for this kind of race.
Over thousands of years camels have played an important role in the region and affected all aspects of daily desert life. Besides being a means of travel, food and shelter, camels are also used for entertainment, celebrating and competing in festivals.