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Updated by Seth Band on May 30, 2016
Seth Band Seth Band
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Festivals in Maldives – blissful glitz

Maldives is essentially a cultural island. This affection for culture in Maldives has led to a host of cultural festivals to be developed in Maldives.



Ramadan needs no introduction among Muslims. It is a period of 30 fasting days in the Muslim calendar. During the Ramadan month, government offices shift their opening times from 9 am to 1.30 pm. Private institutions close around 3 pm. Ramadan is Maldives' own Christmas, celebrated at the end of the 30-day fast. The Muslims observe the New Moon and the celebrations begin.

Maldives' laws are not so strict. So you can carry on eating even while the locals are on fast. If you stay somewhere like Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, you can ask them for the fast schedule and when the fast period is over. You can wait for the last day to witness the celebration.


Eid-ul Al'h'aa

This is the period when wealthy Muslims begin their pilgrimage to Holy Mecca. And the others stay behind to celebrate the festival. Eid-ul Al'h'aa begins on the 10th day of Zul Hijja according to Islamic calendar. If this sounds Greek to you, ask any luxury resort in Maldives you are staying in; they will enlighten you with plain details.

Maldivians probably love this festival, since this is the longest holiday of the year. The locals are busy making preparations to visit their relatives. The holiday is stretched for about seven days. If you have the dates right, you will be able to witness the festival mood of the island during this period. A range of activities come to surface. Among them are music, dance and sports.


Prophet's Birthday

The 12th day of Rabee-ul-Awwal in the Islamic Calendar is considered to be the Prophet's Birthday. The locals make use of this season to invite their friends and well wishers to share delicious cuisine with each other.


Kuda Eid

The first day of Shawaal month of Islamic Calendar is Kuda Eid. This comes with the end of Ramadan. Another period for Maldivians to enjoy by feasting. If you are staying with a local family, you will be able watch out their routine during the season. They would rise early in the morning and assemble at the mosque to perform a collective ritual. Afterwards friends and well-wishers invite each other to share a delicious cuisine at their homes. A vacation of three days, this is another season when Maldivians celebrate their religion.


Independence Day

If you happen to be in Maldives in July, do not forget the 26th instant of the month. Reach for Republic Square to see how the celebrations are held in the official manner. First off, there is a march past by the National Security Service and the National Cadet Corps. And then you will see the drills and traditional dances. Schoolchildren are attired in colourful dress is a sight to treasure.


Republic Day

Maldives Republic Day is on November 11. On this date, the island became a republic for the second time. Like the Independence Day, it is celebrated with parades and marches.