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The janadriyah Festival
23/08/2008
 
For two weeks every year, the past comes to Riyadh - and it's alive and well. The vibrant Janadriyah Annual Heritage and Culture Festival in Riyadh City District is a showcase for crafts from across the Kingdom organized by the National Guard. It celebrates the cultural traditions that unite this great country, while also revealing the regional differences which create the distinctive character of Saudi individuality
   
 

The festival includes displays of regional architecture, cuisine, craft, markets, dances and folklore. It lasts approximately two weeks and takes place in the winter when the weather is cooler. There are working displays of carpet-weaving, pottery-making, and woodcarving from different regions. Arabian dancers and singers provide entertainment, while reviving all the traditional songs of different regions. There are also displays by the armed forces, and displays of traditional swords and daggers. Valor In Battle Hanging by my side was a sharp, well-made sword; its broad blade glittered in my right hand. My fearless heart routs the enemy with it; it is my best companion on a dark night I also carry tucked in my belt a crooked dagger that resembles a poisonous snake for my enemies, or a draught of cool fresh water for my friends. By Abu Hamzih al-Amri You can buy jewellery, perfume, shesha, halwa, wood and ceramics. Themes vary each year, often with one province having a special feature. In 1424H (2003) there was a replica of the old Medinah with people actually using the shops. The event also includes traditional sports and Janadriyah is famous for the annual Riyadh camel race when 2,000 camels and their riders compete.

The festival is divided into men-only, women-only and family days. On the women-only days they have activities such as henna-etching and Arabic make-up displays which aren't there on the other days. In 1419H (1998) the Janadriyah Festival honored the women artists, poets, singers and folk dancers of Asir, with a three day women's music festival. For the first time their local traditions took to a wider stage where it was much appreciated. The Janadriyah site is 30km north east of Riyadh on the Al Janadriyah Road. Take Dammam highway and take the left fork which is well signposted. Its located beside the Horse Racing Club. Weekly camel racing takes place every Monday in the winter. There are smaller festivals that take place in other towns in the region, often around Eid celebrations, which range from dancing to poetry reading.

 
 
 
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