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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 festivals in Maldives – A Taste of Maldivian Culture

Check out these four festivals in order to get an idea of what Maldivian culture and customs are like.


Independence Day

Falling on the 26th of July each year, the Maldivian Independence Day marks the day that the Maldivians won independence from the British over fifty years ago in 1965. The event is celebrated by the holding of parades processions, performances, and other festivities. There is usually always a parade by the National Security Services and the National Cadet Corps. School children often put on performances while dressed in colourful garb.


National Day

The National Day is celebrated on the first day of the Islamic calendar's third month, which is also known as Rabi-ul Awwal. During the course of this month, Muslims rejoice the birth of the prophet Mohammed.



This is a time of feasting for one and all! Eid-Ul-Fitr, which is known in Dhivehi (the Maldivian language) as Kuda Eid, is a festival that signifies the end of the month of fasting or, in other words, Ramadan (don't know what that is? Read on to find out). It is also the first day of the month called Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, which is meant to be all about doing charity and celebrating with family and friends. Grand meals are cooked in Maldivian houses to celebrate this event. Right before Eid, during the end of Ramadan, Maldivian families will traditionally give money or food to those in need so that they will also have the means to celebrate the Eid festival. In the Maldives, the three days over which this festival is celebrated, is usually declared a school and government holiday, so that people have time to spend with their family. During this period, Maldivian families exchange gifts amongst themselves, with a special focus on the children, and these include things like new clothes.



As the country is a Muslim one, the festival of Ramadan or Ramazan as it is sometimes called, along with its many customs and regulations, are observed very strictly. What this means, is that the consumption of food in public places during daylight hours, will be strictly prohibited during the month in which this festival falls. This is because the festival requires all Muslims to fast from sun up to sun down, forgoing both food and water. Most Muslims, therefore, wake up an hour or so before dawn to pray and have a light meal in preparation for the day of fasting ahead. After sunset, which usually falls between 6 pm and 7 pm, they return home to pray and break their fast, which customarily begins with some dates and a glass of milk. If you're staying at one of the Maldives villas for tourists or the major resorts situated on their own islands such as Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives for example, you will most likely be able to consume food and drink even out in the open during daylight hours during Ramazan.

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