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.
Ramadan in Maldives , Pixabay , CC0 Public Domain
The time of Ramadan is the holy month in the Islamic world and therefore visitors to regions such as Maldives, Abu Dhabi, Qatar for that matter ought to take into account the acceptable practices during this time. During this time of the year, a wide number of restaurants will be closed from sunrise to sunset although luxury Maldives hotels such as the Anantara Hotels, Resort & Spa are usually not affected by this holiday season. Particularly the evening meal of iftar, when the faithful break their fast, is considered to be a social occasion; throughout the country, ifthars are organized where people of diverse nationalities join together in the spirit of the festival.
Muslims are required to fast and to also refrain from drinking liquids, smoking and engaging in sexual activity during this holy month. It is illegal to eat and drink in public places during the month of Ramadan. Most of the shops, too, close during the daytime during the month of Ramadan. However, they open shortly after breaking fast and continue to stay open until midnight, some even later. During this month, it is common to find sales and bargains so keep your eyes peeled for that.
However, as any music other than religious is prohibited during this period, do not expect to go clubbing or relax with a beer after a tiring shopping spree while listening to live music – alcohol is usually not sold during the month too. End of the feasting period is celebrated in a grand manner with Eid el Fitr. It is a massive celebration where the entire community comes together to celebrate. Do join in on the celebrations and be a part and parcel of this unique culture with those who live and breathe the roots of Islamic life.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.
Maldives has long been considered one of the top destinations not only for diving but for snorkelling as well, with around 70 different species of corals and more than 700 species of marine life including rare specimens like the giant Napoleon Wrasse. Ideally, the best places to snorkel would be around reefs where the terrain has features of interest like caves and cliffs and also attract a lot of marine life that feed close to the corals.
No experience is required for snorkelling and most hotels will provide both equipment and training if needed. A good option to keep in mind for your next snorkelling trip is the PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, one of Maldives luxury hotels. The resort offers guided tours to the uninhabited island of Maafunafaru and snorkelers will be able to see a wealth of colour from the House Reef, and glimpse green turtles, schooling fish and reef sharks in the Coral Garden.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.
The Maldives is undoubtedly one of the world’s reputed holiday destinations. Although the Maldives is small in land area, the island nation’s attractive sandy beaches, balmy climate and shimmering sapphire waters make it a pleasure to visit. Travellers intending to visit the islands and seeking a comfortable Maldives resort need look no further than the attractive Anantara Dhigu, Maldives. This well reputed resort offers appealing accommodations as well as an array of amenities making it a delightful place to stay.
One of the most important celebrations in the Maldives is the fervently observed Independence Day. On this occasion the entire nation unanimously celebrates the achievement of complete independence from the colonial power, Britain. On this day, which falls on the 26th of July, Maldivians commemorate the birth of their nation with great pride and heartfelt joy.
Many special occasions are organized to mark this momentous occasion, which is marked as a national holiday. The festivities which are focused on Republic Square in the capital Male are held on a grand scale, as it is an occasion of great national pride. On this day numerous performances and processions are conducted, whilst the entire nation watches and applauds. These performances combine both traditional elements and modern themes, which is entirely appropriate as the nation remembers the past and looks to the future with hope and pride.
This special occasion is attended by the nation’s president as well as many visiting dignitaries from abroad, as it is the country’s proudest moment. On the other hand for ordinary citizens it is also an entertaining and enjoyable day out, as they share national pride with their fellow citizens.
The celebrations commence with a marching procession made up of members of the Cadet Corps and the armed forces. This is followed by modern drill displays and traditional dances performed by children and youths. These dancers and young children are attired in colourful costumes adding to the glamour of the occasion. However there are also celebrations at the community level where ordinary people express their patriotism and national identity. Travellers who visit the country at this time of the year will be able to observe these colourful celebrations.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.
The islands of Maldives are most renowned for their stunning beaches. However the country celebrates various festivals that reflect local cultural heritage. Find a centrally positioned Maldives Island resort to base yourself at in order to make the most of your visit. Kuramathi Island offers a selection of charming Maldives villas for travellers to choose from. There are various historical and religious festivals celebrated in the islands with some incorporating traditional performances. Independence Day celebrations as well as the National Day are among the main celebrations while prominent religious events include Ramadan and EIid-Ul-Adha. Be sure to experience the vibrancy of some of the local festivals during a holiday spent in this enchanting beach destination.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+
The Maldives is undoubtedly an experience that one must discover. From its exciting water based activities, succulent seafood to its absorbing culture, the isles would usher in a mood of complete serenity. Selecting the soothing ambience of a Maldives resort will let you enjoy the company of traditional folk dances. Cocoa Island Maldives which falls under the category of Maldives luxury resorts would serve you well on your travels.
Bodu Beru music is a form of tribal dance that usually occurs during important festivals and in involves the use of hollow coconut wood drums and the singing of folk music. The Bolimalaafath Nesgun dance is where Maldivian women form groups and sing to the beats of music. This practice which was carried out when offerings were made to the Sultan in the past still remains an integral part of the local culture. Performed by men folk, the Dhandi Jehun dance comprises of a lead singer who sings ‘Unbaa’ or ‘Tha’ra’ tunes along with the rest of the 29 members who sing in chorus. Here performers hold three sticks referred to as the ‘Dhandi’. Other forms of dance that one could experience is the Kadhaa Maali folk dance and the Bandiyaa Jehun dance that all have one thing in common; tradition.
The Maldives Islands is truly a paradise that lies within the sparking blue waters of the Indian Ocean. It is renowned as a world-famous tropical destination that lures tourists in droves each year. Boasting up to 1,190 islands that comprise its idyllic surrounds, a vacation in the Maldives partakes of the best aspects of ample fun in the sun, sand, and surf. With pristine beaches of fine white power, a vacation in the Maldives will be without doubt the best you will ever experience – a true feast for the senses.
A trip to Maldives will never be complete without a dive into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The gorgeous underwater delights that lie beneath the curling waves are indeed a must-see feature and prominent call of fame of this irreplaceable archipelago. The Maldives is truly a diver’s dream, one that transfers one to another realm of experience beneath the waves. So while you are here, do not miss the chance to take the challenge. There are so many amazing things to explore underneath the turquoise waters. And one such attraction is the ship wreck of Maldives Victory, which is famed as one of the one best diving experiences in the country.
The Maldives Victory was a cargo ship that hit a reef and sank in the year 1981. Luckily, no one lost their lives as a result of this tragic incident. In time, the slow crawl of nature has resulted in the ship being populated by marine passengers who flit, dance, and swim their way through the nooks and crannies of this sunken vessel. Hence later, this shipwreck was declared as a marine protected area.
The ship lies 35 meters beneath the sea and is 110 meters long. This shipwreck site is recommended for those who are quiet good in their diving as the currents can be a little powerful at times. So the Maldives Victory is classified as an advanced diving site.
If you are a good diver, the experience offered here will be surely mesmerizing, with new coral growths to photograph, vibrant fishes and other sea species to encounter face-to-face. While you discover the underwater delight in Maldives, stay at a luxury resort in Maldives that will make your holiday truly memorable. A good choice for you would be the Maalifushi Maldives that is renowned for its top-class services and amenities. This hotel is one of the best island resorts in Maldives that will offer you a truly unforgettable vacation.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+
If you are looking for a unique way to ring in the New Year, then consider heading to the Maldives where you can combine a fun holiday in the tropics with much celebration and festivities. An ideal option would be to stay at a Maldives island resort such as Kuramathi Island where you can herald in the New Year in an intimate getaway by the sea. This luxurious resort features charming Maldives villas that provide an ideal home away from home in this tropical paradise.
Those wanting to witness the pomp and pageantry of locals during New Year can head to such destinations as the capital Male, where one can witness a variety of festivities. December 31st see the city streets come alive at night with dancers, drummers and musicians performing in certain areas as well. Houses and residences are often decorated in lights and restaurants are open till late. It is a great time to try out local dishes too and foni boakiba, kuli boakiba and gula are worth sampling. Resorts also sometimes have their own firework displays providing a truly enchanting spectacle as the New Year rolls in.
The Maldives provides you with quite a good blend of the modern and the traditional Islamic customs and most of the festivals are marked by important religious days. Ramadan being the most important celebrations of any Islamic nation, it is celebrated widely in Maldives as well. Marking the end of thirty days of fasting, this reputed day falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated annually, heavily marked by a lot feasting, spreading the goodwill and joy of the season. Visiting the Maldives during this time of the year could prove to be a bit of a challenge as the business hours are cut down by half but nevertheless you definitely would get a chance to experience Muslim traditions and customs first hand.
The festival of Eid-ul Al’h’aa is another prominent festival celebrated all over the Maldives. Falling on the 10th day on Zul Hijja in the Islamic Calendar, it heralds the time of year when devotes who can afford the journey are expected to embark on the famous pilgrimage to the holy Ka’aba in Mecca, and for those who stay behind, it is a time for celebrations and feasting. This lengthy holiday period may not be the ideal time for you to explore the isles as most of the locals spend the holiday time travelling; however, there are such a lot of activities in store for you irrelevant of your age or gender. Traditional as well as modern sports, music, dance and much more could be looked forward to. Other than these, the Prophet’s Birthday and Kuda Eid are celebrated with much enthusiasm.
The 26th of July marks the celebration of Independence in the Maldives, and this is another national festival that creates a festive atmosphere throughout the country. March pasts, drills, and traditional dances are some of the highlights of the day. The Republic Day celebrations give another opportunity to for the locals to enjoy a holiday as well as to commemorate the day. This is yet another day when the streets are decorated extensively with flags and one may see many riotous parades in the streets. The great victory of Mohamed Thakurufaanu over the Portuguese rulers in 1573 is celebrated each year on the first of the third month in the Islamic calendar and this marks the National Day of the Maldives.
The bountiful coral reefs, turquoise-blue waters, the delightful sea food cuisine, and exceptional hospitality services are part of the perks on offer at the Maldives luxury resorts gracing this unique archipelago, and a choice selection is the Coco Island Maldives. With gracious hospitality and luxury interiors, this Maldives Resort promises to pamper you beyond your wildest expectations.
If you are looking for a unique way to ring in the New Year 2014, why not head over to paradise in the Maldives? No matter which of the excellent Maldives luxury resorts you choose to stay at, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable auld lang syne. Collapse into an elite Maldives villa after partying into the New Year, where you’ll be well pampered and spoiled at the Baros Maldives. All of the hotels dotting this charming tropical archipelago have a grand itinerary prepared to give all guests an utterly unforgettable party beach December 31st. The rarity of this once-annual event means that all New Year celebrations can be quite pricey, but you will be treated to perks such as a grand gala dinner and free flowing champagne to toast good health and prosperity with your loved ones. As this is a much sought-after event, travellers to the Maldives around the winter season should book as early as possible, as most hotels can be quite full. Remember to shop around depending on your party flavours; the Maldives offer everything from intimate beach villas and vibrant party outlets to ensure that you ring in the New Year in the best and most celebratory way possible.