Several festivals and events are celebrated throughout the year. Most celebrations are influenced by religion and others showcase the country as a globally recognized destination. One of the most religious Qatar festivals is Eid, a fasting period known as Ramadan. Apart from Eid, the Tribeca film festival highlights the countries modern development, which attracts several visitors from around the world. People experience the diversity of the festivals, right from galloping camels to celebrity chefs or from the serene sight of dhow vessels lining the seashore to dazzling fireworks shows. Mark your calendars and explore some of the festivals on your next visit to the country.
17 Qatar Festivals To Be Apart Off While On Vacation
Festivals are a part of a country’s heritage and culture, which people should read up about and explore while traveling the world. Speaking of traveling the world, people should explore discover some of the Qatar festivals to know more about the country. It is an experience of a lifetime people should not miss out on as these are things that make a vacation special.
1. Qatar International Food Festival
Are you striving to be a chef or you just live to eat? If yes to both the questions, then you should attend the Qatar International Food Festival. The event has some of the best chefs from around the world descend on Qatar. It is like a calendar highlight for foodies. You can take part in a masterclass workshop taken by an expert or simply watch them cook up a feat on stage. There is so much food to tuck into at the food festival Qatar. Right from the Qatari flavors to tastes from all over the world, there is something for everyone’s stomach and palate, so come hungry.
2. Eid Al Fitr
Often known as Eid, Eid ul Fitr 2021 Qatar is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in the middle east, according to the Islamic calendar. The entire nation comes alive and locals head out to celebrate the end of Ramadan with friends and family. There are several ways to spend a day like going to the circus or to the malls to shop. People should enjoy the festivities at Katara Cultural Village, which have amazing fireworks on display. Eid Al Adha is celebrated several months later. The festivities and celebrations never stop.
If you are interested in getting a glimpse of how the festival is celebrated, visit Qatar and experience it for yourself. The dates of the festival vary and are never the same. You will have to be mindful about it.
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3. Doha Cultural Festival
One of the biggest cultural events in the Middle East is the Doha cultural festival that attracts people from around the world. The fascinating part about the festivities is that the heritage and culture of Qatar are celebrated at large. There is something for everyone to enjoy right from intimate poetry readings to dance performances. There are events and activities for kids to enjoy and a chance to discover the culture of the country they live in. Tourists and the locals of the country will always discover a new side of Qatar.
The cultural festival is a once in a life time opportunity to see the locals having the best time of their lives. What more can you ask for when it comes to understanding the culture of this rich country.
4. International Kite Festival
The Kite Festival is one of the most spectacular events celebrated in Qatar each year. Tourists are awe-struck by the thousands of colorful kites seen flying in the skies above Doha. Several participants from around the world compete in the given categories in the 4-day event. Apart from the competitions, kids can keep themselves busy with kite-making workshops and face painting. There are several food stalls around people and explore and indulge in a variety of cuisines. People can participate in a photography competition, which of course gives them the chance to capture the colorful sight of dueling kites.
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5. Qatar National Day
18th December is one of the most important days of the year for Qataris, as it is celebrated as Qatar National Day. Qatar national day is celebrated as the day the country got its freedom from the British. People will see the national parade along the Doha waterfront, one of the best sites to see. Millions line up to see the military and police officials parade past and enjoy the aerial and sea displays by the air force and navy. One of the most stunning places to visit in Doha is the Katara cultural village on the waterfront with your family and friends for all kinds of week-long programs of festivities, which include parachute jumps, a cultural bazaar, and spectacular fireworks.
6. Ajyal Film Festival
Ajal Film Festival offers tourists a magical experience of enjoying the cinema of the Middle East. The film festival marked its departure from the glitz and glamor of the traditional film festival circuit. Going to the film festival is one of the many things to do in Doha. It has proven to be quite popular with the locals as it showcases movies from the Arab world. Tourists from around the world come to see a different side of the Middle East. What more can anyone ask for when it comes to exploring something new and different?
7. Qatar Marine Festival
The culture of the country has developed a connection with the sea, over the years. The relationship is celebrated at the Qatar Marine Festival. Katara Cultural village on the Doha waterfront hosts the festival each year. There are all kinds of performances and attractions for people of all ages. One of the most fascinating things to do in Qatar is seal shows and dancing fountains. When it comes to indulging in the local cuisine, guests can grab a bite to eat at some of the food stalls at this laid-back festival. One of the biggest attractions is the musical theater performances that narrate the story of Qatar and the sea.
8. Garangao Children’s Festival
Once a fast is broken on the 14th day of Ramadan, Garangao Children’s festival is celebrated. Known by different names across the Middle East, the local children celebrate Garangao. The kids dress up in traditional Qatari clothing before making rounds in the neighborhood in groups singing folk songs and ask for candy. Expats also have some fun. These are certain kinds of festivals that make the holidays fun.
9. Halal Qatar Festival
The celebration of the culture and heritage of Qatar aims at connecting the younger generations with the traditional lifestyle which includes livestock breeding and care. Among the various festivals of Qatar, this specific festival teaches children about what it takes to keep and breed animals through workshops and live shows. Families can attend the animal beauty contests, with large money prizes on offer for the winners. The Katara Cultural village host the festival, which also include traditional arts and crafts stalls and food outlets.
10. Doha International Book Fair
December is celebrated as the month for reading with the Doha International Book fair. The book fair brings various publishers from all around the globe to the city, which is held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention center. People will find all the latest reads at the fair. Apart from boasting of books, the fair organizes all kinds of cultural events, which include lectures on publishing and writing, workshops for young authors, and arts and crafts activities. Along with attending the book fair, people can even spend a day on the beaches in Doha with family and friends.
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11. Souq Waqif Spring Festival
Souq Waqif is one of the most ancient and iconic places to travel in Qatar that hosts its annual spring festival held for 15 days in late December to early January. There is no other place to visit during these months as one can enjoy several kinds of activities like magic shows, art exhibitions, volleyball and carnival rides. There are several souvenirs and other products people can shop for at the market. People should not miss out on the spring festival during these months, as it is one of the most amazing spectacles to witness.
12. Katara Traditional Dhow Festival
Katara Traditional Dhow Festival is one of the top attractions for tourists celebrated in the month of December at the Katara village in Doha. People have often asked what makes this festival special that it needs to be celebrated? The celebration of the traditional dhow boats which have taken sailors and travelers into the Arabian Sea is something the world needs to know about through the festival. There are several boats of all kinds of sizes and designs that remind people of the ancient times. What else? Tourists can attend the art exhibitions and marine firework show. In case you want a ride, you can sail in one of the Dhow cruises for a nominal fee.
13. Doha Tribeca Film Festival
Have you ever heard of the Tribeca Film in Doha? If you haven’t then, let’s get a sneak peek into what makes it so special. Doha Tribeca Film Festival brings people from all over the world to present the best of Arabic and international cinema. It represents financing of films and year- round education arms, with industry programs and filmmaker events developed to empower the storytellers and build a long-term film industry in Qatar.
Given birth to in 2009, the festival is reflection of a cultural partnership between DFI and Tribeca enterprises. The festival offers a platform to celebrate the wonders of film appreciation and entertainment from all over the world, based on a mutual mission to represent cinema and the importance of culture and the need for art education. It has grown leaps and bounds and has catching up to do with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai festivals. It is one of the many festivals people should attend at least once as it not like any other seen elsewhere.
14. Art Festival of Qatar
One of the biggest art festivals in Qatar, showcases some of the greatest artistic skills and implements certain feathers of recognition under an artist’s belt. Art has become a part of the culture and tradition of Qatar as several art activities take place each year.
Qatar gives the local and international artists a platform to perform and gain recognition and sell their artwork in Qatar. Qatar was called the cultural country of the region in 2010. Art Exhibition, live painting symposium, artistic fashion show, master class and cultural tour are some of the art events that are held at the festival. Art festival of Qatar is not like any other festival in the Middle East, as it is known to connect artists with each other. It is essential to bring global art experts- connoisseur, art critics and art academician in the world together on one single platform.
Art is one of the many forms of expression that reaches a wide audience and the international community gave birth to contemporary art. It is an eye opener as a diversity of people interact with each and share a common idea through their creativity under one roof. So, what you waiting for? Go attend and explore the art festival in Qatar with friends and family.
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15. Al-Shahaniya Camel Racing
Qatar is known for its camel racing as it is a part of its tradition and has been for a long time. Camel racing was born in 1970 and went on becoming a professional sport since. It began as a tradition at weddings, which was a form of entertainment and has become a multi-million-dollar business. People from around the world come to Qatar to take part or enjoy the sport that is held at the popular camel race track at Al Shahaniya. Doha is an hour away from Al Shahaniya, north of the country, which is a must visit. When planning to visit the camel racing track, one should get there before 10 am to watch the experts train the camels get ready for the race.
One can enjoy walking around the paddocks and see the camels nestling in their own habitat or simply enjoy the stunning view from the grandstand. People can spend an entire day at the track, enjoy the scenery at the desert, surrounding the camel racing track and interact with the grand camels. It is one of the most fascinating races that people should not miss out on.
Ramadan is one of the most important festivals in Qatar and other Middle East countries. It is during the month of Ramadan; Muslims abstain from food and drink from early morning to night for an entire month. Each year, based on the Gregorian calendar, Ramadan takes place 11 days earlier, Ramadan is experienced in various seasons throughout the course of a Muslim’s life. Muslims are often reminded of those who are less fortunate, which is the basic idea behind fasting and to be thankful for they have.
Fasting during Ramadan is a necessity, as it is one the 5 pillars or duties. Certain people are exempted from fasting like children who are yet to reach puberty, the elderly, those who are physically or mentally incapable of fasting and of course pregnant women and travelers. Muslims are meant to have a prefast meal called Suhur, before sunrise. In most cultures, this prefast meal is more like dinner, but in Islam, its breakfast. Iftar is a meal that is had after sundown, which begins with dates and water or milk and then dinner. They are allowed to snack at night between those 2 meals and hydration is a must.
17. Eid Al- Adha
The feast of sacrifice, is known by many names like Eid Ul Adha, Id-ul-Azha, Id-ul-Zuha, Hari Raya Haji or Bakri-id. It is an important feast in the Muslim calendar. Commonly known to many as Al Eid Al Kabeer, meaning ‘Grand Eid’, has an important status in Islam. It is a festival that is celebrated to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice to God. It comes on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.
The date could change between countries based on the lunar sightings. The pilgrimage to Mecca ends Eid Al- Adha, which is for 3 days, which celebrates Ibrahim’s willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. The story is written in the Bible, which is familiar with the Jews and Christians. Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when he heard a voice from heaven stopping him from doing so, which resulted in making something else a great sacrifice, according to the Quran. The key tradition of Eid al Adha is about giving charity in the form of money, food or clothes to the poor. It is one of the most religious festivals that is celebrated not in the Middle East but all over the world.
How To Reach Qatar
Flying or even traveling to Qatar by road or air isn’t much of a problem as the country is well connected with every popular destination in the world. Besides air and road, there are no rail networks or waterway passages people can travel by. One can easily book their flights to Qatar online or even get in touch with their travel agents. In case you are traveling by road, then your only option is to travel through Saudi Arabia. One of the most popular modes of transportation are the buses that run between the two countries.
Qatar continues to surprise its tourists with charm and various festivities. The country has preserved its rich history which is reflected in the festivals celebrated each year. Travelers can expect a trip of a lifetime in the Middle East right from recognizing the historical dhows to showing its love for art through its exhibitions through its festivals.
According to the Islamic calendar, Eid Ul Fitr is one of the most significant and main festivals celebrated in Qatar.
Besides Eid, Qatar celebrates festivals like Aspire International Kite Festival, Qatar International Food Festival, Doha Cultural Festival and Katara International Marine Festival.
The festivals are a reflection of the culture and history of the country, which makes visiting Qatar interesting. It is a unique way of discovering a new sides.
People can spend a day on the beaches, go shopping at the malls in Qatar and even go to the bars or clubs at night.
January is one of the coldest months in Qatar as the temperatures go up to 21. 7°C and come down to around 13°C.
Owing to its tight security and low crime rate, it is safe to say it is the safest country in the Middle East.
The culture of the Middle Eastern country is influenced by the Bedouin culture. There is a slight emphasis of the sea in the local culture.
Alcohol is available at licensed hotels and bars, where people can get their drinks on a permit basis.