Most of the holidays in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are held for religious reasons. While some people might be sad to know that this is the case, citizens of the Kingdom celebrate these occasions for a special purpose. That being said, there are dates you can plan for a holiday vacation by yourself or even with family or loved ones.
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Most public holidays in Saudi Arabia are based on the sighting of the moon. This means that if the lunar object appears on a particular day, then that day’s public holiday will be celebrated. Although the exact dates have not been announced yet, there’s plenty to be expected in terms of changes in the near future.
- Saudi Arabia Public Holidays in 2022
- May 1 (Sunday) – Eid Al Fitr*
- May 2 (Monday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
- May 3 (Tuesday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
- May 4 (Wednesday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
- May 5 (Thursday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
- July 8 (Friday) – Arafat Day*
- July 9 (Friday) – Eid Al Adha*
- July 10 (Saturday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
- July 11 (Sunday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
- July 12 (Sunday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
- July 13 (Sunday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
- August 9 (Monday) – Islamic New Year*
- September 23 (Friday) – Saudi National Day
Saudi Arabia Public Holidays in 2022
Eid Al Fitr (the Feast of the End of Ramadan), Eid Al Adha (the Feast of the End of Hajj), and Saudi National Day, which commemorates the Country’s union, are among the official holidays honored in the kingdom.
For 2022, here are the projected dates for the abovementioned holidays:
May 1 (Sunday) – Eid Al Fitr*
Eid al-Fitri is a time of feasting and celebrating over the completion of Ramadan.
Eid al-Fitri, which is celebrated in Saudi Arabia, is usually observed on the first day of the following month.
On this day, families start their day with a small breakfast. They then attend Eid prayers and feast on sweet dishes.
It is also customary to wear new clothes and to wish one another happy Eid.
During Eid al-Fitri, people flock to the mosque to perform their religious rituals.
May 2 (Monday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
On the first day of Shawwal, Muslims perform various communal prayers. These are usually held in large areas such as sports arenas.
Many Muslims may travel to various areas to partake in these festivities. Some communities also organize various festivities.
Zakat al-fitr is a form of charity that gives a portion of food or its monetary equivalent to the poor.
For many Muslims, this is their first Eid. They may also prepare various meals to share with family and friends.
May 3 (Tuesday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
Eid al-Fitr is not a national holiday in most countries. In some countries, such as Australia and the UK, some establishments may have altered their opening hours.
May 4 (Wednesday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
Eid-al-Fitr can’t be predicted with the Gregorian calendar. It will most likely happen on the first day of Shawwal, which is the month when the festival of Eid begins.
The month of Ramadan ends after a sighting of the new moon in a specific location.
In some countries, such as the US and Canada, Muslims may start celebrating Eid-al-Fitr on a different date.
May 5 (Thursday) – Eid Al Fitr Holiday*
Eid Al-Fitr is a festival held in Saudi Arabia. During this occasion, the country’s residents decorate their homes and prepare lavish meals for their friends and family.
Although the festivities vary depending on the province, the common threads that link all of these events are the hospitality shown by the Saudi citizens.
Before the food is served, the children are given away Saudi Riyals, which are the country’s currency.
For most families in Saudi Arabia, the morning of Eid Al-Fitr is when they go to the house of the eldest male member of the family.
Members of the family may also present gifts to the children. These are usually well-decorated and are full of candy and toys.
July 8 (Friday) – Arafat Day*
The Day of Arafah is the ninth of the Islamic lunar month, which is July 8 this year.
This is the day when Muslims around the world commemorate the moment when they believe the prophet Muhammad was born.
The Day of Arafah is considered the fifth pillar of Islam, and it signifies the end of the pilgrimage.
It’s also significant because it was the day when a major verse of the Qur’an was revealed.
July 9 (Friday) – Eid Al Adha*
One of the Five Pillars of Islam is that every Muslim should do Hajj at least once in their life.
This pilgrimage takes place on the 8th day of every month of the Islamic calendar and continues until the 12th of the month.
On the first day of Hajj, pilgrims start their journey in Jeddah, which is a coastal city located in the Red Sea. They then proceed to the town of Mina.
They reach the Plain of Arafat in the morning. There, they spend a full day praying and reading the Quran.
On the 10th day of the pilgrimage, they will start gathering pebbles and rocks to take to Mina.
During this period, the pilgrims cast the stones at the pillars near the bridge. Afterwards, they perform an animal sacrifice and offer it to the devil.
After reaching Mecca, pilgrims proceed without hesitation to the Grand Mosque, which is regarded as the holiest site in Islam.
As they enter the mosque, the pilgrims are required to circle the Kaaba seven times.
July 10 (Saturday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
Eid al-Adha is the second of the great Muslim festivals, following the Eid al-Fitr. It is celebrated in the same manner as the hajj, but with a different name.
It begins on the tenth of Djah al-ijjah, and continues for three days. This festival is usually celebrated during any season of the year.
During this festival, families can afford to sacrifice an animal for religious reasons. They then divide the meat among themselves and the poor.
This festival is also a time for celebrating with family and friends. It is marked by the ram of the biblical patriarch Isml, who is the son of Isaac.
July 11 (Sunday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
Both Eid al-Adhaand Eid al-Fitr are regarded as the most significant festivals in the Islamic faith.
Eid al-Fitr is the first day of the Shawwal month that is regarded as the end of the fast.
On the other hand, Eid al-Adha is celebrated after the completion of the Hajj.
Eid al-Adha is also known as the feast of sacrifice, and it’s observed on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al Hijjah.
July 12 (Sunday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
Muslims believe that celebrating Eid al-Adha, which is also known as Thanksgiving, is a tradition that they should accept.
At the hour of sacrifice, an animal is faced with a sharp knife and is then drawn across its throat.
The animal’s entire body is then examined to ensure that it does not suffer from the initial pain.
The day begins with visits to family and friends. During this time, people exchange gifts and greetings.
The festivities for Eid al-Adha begin with a special prayer known as Salat al-Eid.
On Eid al-Adha, family and friends gather together to eat together. Most of the time, the main course is a meat-based meal.
Haleem is another dish that involves slow-cooking barley or wheat in a stew. It becomes a rich and sticky dish by the time it’s eaten.
July 13 (Sunday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
Eid al-Adha is not the same as Eid al-Fitr. In fact, they have very different greetings.
Eid al-Fitr is a holiday that falls on the last day of Ramadan. It is celebrated by giving to charity.
While meat is the main dish during Eid al-Adha, other food is also served during the festivities. One particular dish that is served during this occasion is Lachha Seviyan.
August 9 (Monday) – Islamic New Year*
The rituals that Muslims do during Ramadan vary depending on their religious backgrounds.
On the day of Muharram, which is also known as the Day of Ashura, Muslims fast for a day to commemorate the death of the grandson of the prophet Muhammad.
In Iraq, some Shi’a Muslims visit the Imam Husayn Shrine. In Iran, a re-enactment of the Battle of Karbala is performed.
Similar events are also known in south Asia, such as marsiya and soaz. In Trinidad and Tobago, some people also attend Hussay.
In most cases, the Shi’a Muslims in the Middle East perform matam, which is a parade held every year to commemorate the death of Muhammed.
Some Shi’a Muslims also beat themselves with zanjir, which is a metal object that’s attached to a handle.
The Islamic New Year, which is also known as Eid al-Adha, is a public holiday in various countries, including the United Arab Emirates.
Due to the varying hours of operation of Islamic establishments, some people might have a hard time finding a place to pray at night.
A year lasts for about 354 days. During this period, Muharram is celebrated as the month of remembrance.
Certain Islamic historical events happen during the month of Muharram.
The Battle of Karbala happened in 680 CE, which allowed Husayn ibn Ali to enter the city.
The restriction of Husayn ibn Ali’s water supply on the seventh day of the month.
The death of Husayn al-Bayt on the 10th day of this month is commemorated as a day of mourning.
September 23 (Friday) – Saudi National Day
In the 16th century, Arabia was subjugated by the Ottoman Turks. Other parts of the Middle East were also subjugated by the Ottomans.
There was long opposition against the Ottoman Empire, but it was only after World War I that the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established.
Following the collapse of the Ottomans, the regions that are now known as Saudi Arabia were divided. In 1921, the new Sultan of Najd was named.
Hejaz was a successful ruler who united the weaker Arab states. He then became the Sultan of two separate states, Nejd and Hejaz.
He then unified the two states into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on September 23, 1932.
NOTE: Dates with an asterisk (*) are still subject to change, depending on the sighting of the moon.
Please keep in mind that the amount of days off for some of these holidays varies on whether you work in the public or private sector, as well as the nature of your job. Nonetheless, by noting these dates, you may begin making trip arrangements and scheduling formal leaves and vacations for 2022!
What plans do you have for the New Year? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below!
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