Saudi National Day 2019: From fireworks, parades to cultural shows, Saudis gear up for 89th national day celebration

FP Staff

Today Saudi Arabia is celebrating the country's 89th National Day, annually marked on 23 September. Saudi National Day commemorates the name changing of what was previously known as the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since years citizens have designated this day to pay homage to the heritage of Saudi Arabia, to appreciate its culture, and to promote pride in the country and its rich history.

History and significance of the day

The Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz was a dual monarchy made up of many dominions and tribes. In the early 1900s, the ruler of Nejd, King Abdul Aziz (known as Ibn Saud €" or 'son of Saud' in the West), reconquered his family's ancestral home city of Riyadh and began nearly three decades of conquests in the region. By 1932, his forces managed to gain control over most of central Arabia and he changed the name of his realm to his family name, the House of Saud. Saudi National Day celebrates the passing of this royal decree and is now a public holiday in the Kingdom.

How is Saudi Arabia celebrating this year

Saudi National Day is increasingly celebrated with folklore dances, traditional festivals and other cultural activities arranged in all major cities in the Kingdom.

This year, the kingdom's General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is overseeing and organizing all events related to what has been dubbed "The National Day Season". Firework lovers can get to witness the celebratory rockets arch up high in the sky. The event will also be accompanied by sound and light effects in addition to laser shows.

Apart from that, more than eight concerts are set to be held featuring both local, Arab, and international stars for those celebrating. In addition to this, the festival-goers will get to enjoy activities at Riyadh's National Museum which include performances by folk bands, an Arab falcons show, interactive workshops to teach children about Saudi heritage and culture, displays of classic cars, film screenings, food carts, raffles and prizes.

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