Religious festivals play a major role in the culture of the Maldives and since it is a fully Muslim nation, these events are not surprisingly, linked to Islam. From vibrant celebrations to reflective observances here are some of the main festivals held annually.
Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
In commemoration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, the Maldives joins the Islamic world in celebrating Mawlid un-Nabi on the third month of the Islamic calendar (Rabi al-Awwal). Mosques resounding with prayers, street processions, recitation of Sufi poems and communities coming together in harmonious festivities create an atmosphere of unity and reverence.
Experience the serene aura that blankets the Maldives during the holy month of Ramadan. A key aspect of this period is the dally fast from dawn to sunset as devotees engage in prayer, reflection, and charitable acts. Be you staying at an adults-only island or the best family resort in the Maldives, you may get to savour iftar during this period, the traditional evening meal typically eaten at the end of the fast each day.
The culmination of Ramadan brings the joyous festival of Eid-Ul Fitr. Devotees will attend their mosque and engage in communal prayers, while families come together for festive meals, as well as to exchange gifts, play traditional games and donate to the poor. Those staying at private resorts like OBLU SELECT Sangeli or exploring local islands can truly experience the warm hospitality that extends the spirit of Eid, inviting travellers to join the celebrations.
Eid al-Adha or Bodu Eid, is known as the Festival of Sacrifice, a time of profound reflection and generosity linked to the story of Ibrahim. Eid al-Adha also marks the day following Hajj and the completion of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. On this day in the Maldives, it is customary for locals to engage in morning Eid prayer, prepare traditional food and share meals with family, friends, and neighbours.