The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates the ninety-one repetition of the National Day on September 23, 2021. The National Day commemorates the unification of the various Bedouin tribes, sultanates, small kingdoms, and emirates throughout a large area of the Arabian Peninsula stretching from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf.
In 1932, the land was finally unified under the banner of Abdulaziz bin Saud, the founding father of Saudi Arabia, who then proceeded to assume the mantle of the kingdom’s first king and custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Although the Saudi National Day is historically extended, it has only been officially recognized as a national holiday celebrated in a festive manner since 2005. Previously, only religious holidays were celebrated in Saudi Arabia, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Next, let’s take a closer look at how the kingdom and its people celebrate this very important anniversary.
The Saudi flag and its symbolism
Green is a recurring theme on National Day, as it is the dominant color for the flag of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi flag is distinguished by writing in white calligraphy on its green background with the phrase “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God,” which is the testimony of faith that every Muslim utters while performing his daily prayers.
Just below the inscription, a sword is depicted symbolizing King Abdulaziz, the first king of the kingdom, and the flag’s primary color is a symbol of Islam and is believed to be the favorite color of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
As with many other flags around the world, the flag of Saudi Arabia represents the kingdom’s rich history, noble philosophical ideas, as well as national pride and identity. On the National Day, you will find many people dressed in green and proud of their heritage as countless green flags are waved in the wind.
Holidays, celebrations and events
Before the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, Saudi citizens were looking forward to National Day because it offered the opportunity to take some time off work and meet with friends or family on a public holiday of two (or more) days. Events such as light shows and cultural fairs are held in the country’s capital, and shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, and all other establishments are easily decorated with special offers and discounts on their services and products, and many Saudis consider National Day a truly special occasion.
Moreover, given its importance, the National Day has traditionally been considered the day chosen by the Saudi government for inauguration, national statements, and project initiatives.
For example, in 2009, the King Abdullah University of Technology was officially opened on September 23 in the presence of several heads of state. In 2014, the city of Jeddah impressed when they unveiled the world’s highest flagpole erected specifically to celebrate National Day.
Overall, the celebration of National Day indicates the extent to which Saudis have come as a nation and really provides an excellent opportunity for the younger generation to learn more about their heritage.
We wish the citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to celebrate a happy National Day. Long live!