Middle East Public Holidays
Choose your country below to view public holiday dates for this year and future years.
The Middle East is often viewed by outsiders as a region of conservative Islamic cultures and turbulent politics. While these themes are prevalent in major political events in the Middle East, the region between Europe and East Asia is a diverse area with complex cultures.
Islam is the dominant religion in many Middle Eastern countries. This is common knowledge across the globe, but many people who do not live in the Middle East are unaware that Islam has numerous sects and subcultures. Shiite and Sunni are the major versions of Islam in the Middle East, and Muslims have unique ways of celebrating holidays in their countries. Visitors of the Middle East may enjoy the stoic festivals of Saudi Arabia, or they can relax at a carefree parade in Qatar.
Countries in the Middle East also observe a wide range of political and cultural events. In Yemen, visitors can appreciate historical events and political progress with holidays like Labour Day, Independence Day, and Liberation Day. Many of these holidays have nationalist themes that are meant to strengthen the unity of the Yemeni people. Syria and other nation-states in the Middle East have holidays that honour military victories.
In addition to the traditional holidays of Islam and Muslim politics, the Middle East also celebrates many connections with other areas of the world. Since the age of the Silk Road, the Middle East has been a hub of commerce and intellectualism. Because of this, visitors can experience countless events that have been borrowed from European and Asian cultures. Orthodox Christianity’s Christmas and Easter are prime examples of acnient Christianity’s influence on the Middle East. As the Middle East interacted with the global superpowers of the 20th century through trade and diplomacy, many nations observed important progressive holidays like International Labour Day.
Be inspired as you discover the holidays and religious festivals that make the Middle East so unique.
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